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Full text of "Theodore Roosevelt, the citizen"

Theodore 
'Roosevelt 
the Citizen 




Jacob A.'Riis 



*A 



THEODORE 
ROOSEVELT 

THE CITIZEN 




THEODORE ROOSEVEI/T 

PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES 

DRAWN BY GEORGE T. TOBIN 





THEODORE 
ROOSEVELT 

THE CITIZEN 

JACOB "a. MIS 

AUTHOR OF "THE MAKING OF AN AMERICAN*' 
"how THE OTHER HALF LIVES," ETC. 

ILLUSTRATED 

THE 
OUTLOOK COMPANY 
NEW YORK MCMIV 





COPYRIGHT I903, BY THE OUTLOOK COMPANY 

COPYRIGHT I9O4, BY THE OUTLOOK COMPANY 

PUBLISHED MARCH, I9O4 

REPRINTED MARCH I9O4 



To the Young Men 
of America 



CONTENTS 



I. 


Boyhood Ideals .... 


1 


II. 


What He Got Out of College 


20 


III. 


Early Lessons in Politics 


45 


IV. 


The Horse and the Gun Have 


» 




Their Day . . . 


. 71 


V. 


The Fair Play Department . 


. 97 


VI. 


In Mulberry Street . 


. 127 


VII. 


The Clash of War . . . 


. 155 


VIII. 


Roosevelt and His Men . 


177 


IX. 


Ruling by the Ten Commandment ! 


5 201 


X. 


The Summons on Mount Marcy 


231 


XI. 


What He Is Like Himself . , 


251 


XII. 


The Despair of Politicians 


279 


XIII. 


At Home and at Play 


309 


XIV. 


Children Trust Him . 


339 


XV. 


The President's Policies . 


363 


XVI. 


A Young Men's Hero 


393 



[ix] 



CONTENTS 

PAGE 

xvii. Roosevelt as a Speaker and Writer 411 
xviii. Theodore Roosevelt's Father . .431 



The Roosevelt Chronology . .451 
Books by Theodore Roosevelt . 455 
Index . . . . . . . 465 



x] 



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS 



FACING 
PAGE 



Theodore Roosevelt, President of the 

United States Title 

Theodore Roosevelt's Birthplace in New 

York 10 

Theodore Roosevelt as a Harvard Senior 30 
Theodore Roosevelt as Candidate for 

Mayor of New York City ... 60 
Theodore Roosevelt Jumping Hurdles at 

Chevy Chase Club, Washington . 90 

Theodore Roosevelt 120 

Sagamore Hill 150 

Theodore Roosevelt, Colonel of the 

Rough-Riders 190 

Mrs. Theodore Roosevelt .... 220 

Theodore Roosevelt as Vice-President . 240 

Theodore Roosevelt at Sagamore Hill . 270 

The Morning Ride at Sagamore Hill . 300 

[xi] 



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS 

FACING 
PAGE 

Theodore Roosevelt, Jr. . 324 

The White House 360 

Theodore Roosevelt at His Desk in the 

Executive Office 390 

Theodore Roosevelt and His Family at 

Oyster Bay 420 

Theodore Roosevelt, Sr 444 



[xii] 



I 

BOYHOOD IDEALS 



BOYHOOD IDEALS 

A LL summer I have been fighting for 
/% leeway to sit down and write about 
-a- J^ Theodore Roosevelt, and glad am I 
that I have come to it at last. For there is no- 
thing I know of that I would rather. But let us 
have a clear understanding about it. I am not 
going to write a " life " of him. I have seen it 
said in print that that was my intention. Well, 
it was. That was the shape it took in my mind 
at the start ; but not for long. Perhaps one of 
the kindest things the years do for us as they 
pass is to show us what things we can not do. 
In that way they have been very kind to me. 
When I was twenty, there was nothing I could 
not do. Now I am glad that there are stronger 
and fitter hands than mine to do many things 
I had set my heart on. They must do this, then. 

[3] 



THEODORE ROOSEVELT 

And, besides, it is both too early and too late 
for a life of Theodore Roosevelt. Too late 
for the mere formal details of his career ; every- 
body knows them. Much too early to tell the 
whole story of what that strong, brave life will 
mean to the American people, his people of 
whom he is so proud, when the story is all told. 
No one can know him and believe in the people 
without feeling sure of that. 

There remains to me to speak of him as the 
friend, the man. And this is what I shall do, 
the more gladly because so may it be my privi- 
lege to introduce him to some who know him 
only as the public man, the President, the par- 
tisan perhaps— and a very energetic partisan 
he is— and so really do not know him at all, in 
the sense which I have in mind. The public 
man I will follow because he is square, and 
will do the square thing always, not merely 
want to do it. With the partisan I will some- 
times disagree, at least I ought to, for I was 
before a Democrat and would be one now if 
the party would get some sense and bar Tam- 
many out in the cold for its monstrous wicked- 
ness. 1 Of the President I am proud with rea- 

1 1 am bound to say that I see no signs of it, and also that I am 
rather relieved, with Roosevelt to run in another year. 
[4] 



BOYHOOD IDEALS 

son, but the friend I love. And if I can make 
you see him so, as a friend and a man, I have 
given you the master-key to him as a statesman 
as well. You will never need to ask any ques- 
tions. 

For still another reason I am glad that it 
is to be so: I shall be speaking largely to the 
young whose splendid knight he is, himself yet 
a young man filled with the high courage and 
brave ideals that make youth the golden age 
of the great deeds forever. And I want to show 
them the man Roosevelt, who through many a 
fight in which hard blows were dealt never once 
proved unfaithful to them; who, going forth 
with a young man's resolve to try to " make 
things better in this world, even a little better, 
because he had lived in it," 1 through fair days 
and foul, through good report and evil (and of 
this last there was never a lack), sounded his 
battle-cry, " Better faithful than famous," and 
won. A hundred times the mercenaries and 
the spoilsmen whom he fought had him down 
and " ruined " in the fight. At this moment, 
as I write, they are rubbing their hands with 
glee because at last he has undone himself, 

1 His speech to the Long Island Bible Society, June 11, 1901. 
[5] 



THEODORE ROOSEVELT 

by bidding organized labor halt where it was 
wrong. Last winter, when it was right, he 
" killed himself " when he made capital stop 
and think. They were false prophets then as 
they are now. Nothing can ruin Theodore 
Roosevelt except his proving unfaithful to his 
own life, and that he will never do. If I know 
anything of him, I know this, that he would 
rather be right than be President any day, and 
that he will never hesitate in his choice. 

That is the man I would show to our young 
people just coming into their birthright, and 
I can think of no better service I could render 
them. For the lying sneers are thick all about 
in a world that too often rates success as " what 
you can make." And yet is its heart sound; 
for when the appeal is made to it in simple faith 
for the homely virtues, for the sturdy man- 
hood, it is never made in vain. This is Theo- 
dore Roosevelt's message to his day, that honor 
goes before profit, that the moral is greater 
than the material, that men are to be trusted 
if you believe in the good in them ; and though 
it is an old story, there is none greater. At 
least there is none we have more need of learn- 
ing, since the world is ours, such as it is, to fit 

[6] 



BOYHOOD IDEALS 

for the kingdom that is to come, and nowhere 
is there another plan provided for doing it. 

So, then, it is understood that I am absolved 
from routine, from chronology, and from sta- 
tistics in writing this story. I am to have full 
leave to " put things in as I think of them," 
as the critics of my books say I do anyhow. 
A more absurd charge was never made against 
any one, it has always seemed to me; for how 
can a man put things in when he does n't think 
of them? I am just to write about Theodore 
Roosevelt as I know him, of my own know- 
ledge or through those nearest and dearest to 
him. And the responsibility will be mine alto- 
gether. I am not going to consult him, even if 
he is the President of the United States. For 
one thing, because, the only time I ever did, 
awed by his office, he sent the copy back unread 
with the message that he would read it in print. 
So, if anything goes wrong, blame me and me 
only. 

And now, when I cast around for a starting- 
point, there rises up before me the picture of a 
little lad, in stiff white petticoats, with a curl 
right on top of his head, toiling laboriously 
along with a big fat volume under his arm, 

[7] 



THEODORE ROOSEVELT 

" David Livingstone's Travels and Researches 
in South Africa," and demanding of every 
member of the family to be told what were 
" the foraging ants " and what they did. It 
was his sister, now Mrs. Cowles, who at last 
sat down in exasperation to investigate, that 
the business of the household might have a 
chance to proceed, for baby Theodore held it 
up mercilessly until his thirst for information 
was slaked. Whereupon it developed that the 
supposedly grim warriors of the ant-hill were 
really a blameless tribe — " the foregoing ants " 
in fact. We are none of us infallible. The 
" foraging ants " are a comfort to me when 
their discoverer is disposed to laugh at my 
ee-wee lamb that but for my foreign speech 
should have been a plain ewe. But, then, I 
dwelt content in the bliss of ignorance. He, 
explorer in baby petticoats, could not be ap- 
peased till he found out. 

I suppose they called him Ted in those days. 
In my own time I have never found any one 
to do it who knew him, and the better they 
knew him the less liable were they to. You can 
tell for a certainty that a man does not know 
him when he speaks of him as " Teddy." Not 

[8] 



BOYHOOD IDEALS 

that he frowns upon it ; I do not believe that he 
has often had the chance. But, somehow, there 
is no temptation to that kind of familiarity, 
which does not imply any less affection, but 
just the reverse. He may call me Jake and I 
like nothing better. But though I am ten years 
older than he, he was always Mr. Roosevelt 
with me. His rough-riders might sing of him 
as Teddy, but to his face they called him Colo- 
nel, with the mixture of affection and respect 
that makes troopers go to death as to a dance 
in the steps of a leader. The Western plains- 
men quickly forgot the tenderfoot in the man 
who could shoot and ride though he came out of 
the East and wore eye-glasses, and who never 
bragged or bullied but knew his rights and 
dared maintain them. He was Mister Roose- 
velt there from the second day on the ranch. 
But in those old days at home he was Ted with 
the boys, no doubt. For he was a whole boy 
and got out of it all that was going, after he 
got it going. He has told me that it took 
some time, that as a little fellow he was timid, 
and that when bigger boys came along and 
bullied him he did not know what to do 
about it. I have a notion that he quickly 

[9] 



THEODORE ROOSEVELT 

found out and that they did not gome back 
often. 

A woman who lived next door to the Roose- 
velts in East Twentieth Street told me of how, 
passing in the street, she saw young Theodore 
hanging out of a second-story window and ran 
in to tell his mother. 

" If the Lord," said she, as she made off to 
catch him, " had not taken care of Theodore, 
he would have been killed long ago." 

In after years the Governor of New York 
told me, with a reminiscent gleam in his eye, 
how his boy, the third Theodore in line, had 
" swarmed down " the leader of the Executive 
Mansion to go and hear the election returns, 
rather than go out through the door. There 
was no frightened neighbor to betray his ex- 
ploit then, for it was dark, which made it all 
the more exciting. It was the Governor him- 
self who caught him. The evidence is, I think, 
that the Theodores were cut out pretty much 
on the same pattern. 

Of that happy childhood's home, with the 
beautiful mother of blessed memory and the 
father who rode and played with the children, 
and was that, alas! rarest of parents, their 

[10] 



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THEODORE ROOSEVELT'S BIRTHPLACE, IN 
NEW YORK 

DRAWN BY J. CONACHER 



BOYHOOD IDEALS 

chum and companion as well as their just 
judge when occasion demanded, I have caught 
many a glimpse I wish I might reveal here, 
but that shall be theirs to keep. The family 
romps at home, the strolls on forest paths 
which their father taught them early to 
love; their gleeful dashes on horseback, he 
watchfully leading on, the children scampering 
after, a merry crew; of how at his stern sum- 
mons to breakfast, " Children! " they one and 
all fell downstairs together in their haste to be 
there, they speak yet with a tenderness of love 
that discloses the rarely strong and beautiful 
soul that was his. It was only the other day 
that, speaking with an old employee of the 
Children's Aid Society, of which the elder 
Roosevelt was a strong prop, I learned from 
him how deep was the impression made by his 
gentle courtesy toward his wife when he 
brought her to the lodging-house on his visits. 
" To see him put on her wraps and escort her 
from room to room was beautiful," he said. 
" It seemed to me that I never knew till then 
what the word gentleman meant." How little 
we, any of us, know what our example may 
mean for good or for ill! Here, after thirty 

[ii] 



THEODORE ROOSEVELT 

years, the recollection of Mr. Roosevelt's sim- 
ple courtesy was a potent force in one man's 
life. 

With such ties of love binding the home 
together, the whirlwind of anger and passion 
that swept over the country in the years of the 
war had no power to break or to embitter, 
even though the mother was of the South, with 
roots that held, while his life and work were 
given to the Union cause as few men's were. 
Rather, it laid the foundations broad and 
deep of that abiding Americanism that is to- 
day Theodore Roosevelt's most distinguishing 
trait. It is no empty speech of his that caresses 
the thought of the men who wore the blue and 
those who wore the gray standing at last shoul- 
der to shoulder. It was an uncle of Theodore 
Roosevelt who built the privateer Alabama, 
and another uncle, Irwin S. Bulloch, who fired 
the last gun aboard her when she went down 
before the fire of the Kearsarge, shifting it 
from one side of the ship to the other as she 
sank, to let it have the last word. The while at 
home his father raised and equipped regiments 
and sent them to the war, saw to it that they 
were fed and cared for and that those they left 

[12] 



BOYHOOD IDEALS 

behind did not suffer. I have never been able 
to make up my mind which was most like the 
Theodore of to-day. I guess they both were. 
I know that as he grew, the devotion of the 
one, the daring of the other, took hold of his 
soul and together were welded into the man, 
the patriot, to whom love of country is as a 
living fire, as the very heart's blood of his 
being. 

For play there was room in plenty in the 
home in which Theodore grew up ; for idleness 
none. His father, though not rich in the sense 
of to-day, had money enough to enable them 
all to live without working if they so chose. 
That they should not so choose was the constant 
aim and care of his existence. In his scheme 
of life the one man for whom there was no 
room was the useless drone. Whether he 
needed it or not, every man must do some hon- 
est, decent work, and do it with his might : the 
community had a right to it. We catch echoes 
of this inheritance in his son's writings from 
the very beginning, and as the years pass they 
ring out more clearly. I remember his inter- 
view with Julian Ralph, when as a Police Com- 
missioner he was stirring New York up as it 

[13] 



THEODORE ROOSEVELT 

had not been stirred in many a long day. I can 
see him now striding up and down the bare 
gray office. 

' What would you say to the young men 
of our city, if you could speak to them with 
command this day? " asked Mr. Ralph. 

" I would order them to work," said Mr. 
Roosevelt, stopping short and striking his 
hands together with quick emphasis. " I would 
teach the young men that he who has not 
wealth owes his first duty to his family, but 
he who has means owes his to the State. It 
is ignoble to go on heaping money on money. 
I would preach the doctrine of work to all, and 
to the men of wealth the doctrine of unre- 
munerative work." 

It was hardly unremunerative work that first 
enlisted young Theodore's energies. Looking 
at him now, I should think that nothing ever 
paid a better interest on the investment. He 
was not a strong child— from earliest infancy 
liable to asthmatic attacks that sapped his vi- 
tality and kept back his growth. Probably 
that accounts for the temporary indecision in 
the matter of bullies which he remembers. But 
in the frail body there lived an indomitable 

[14] 



BOYHOOD IDEALS 

spirit before which had risen already visions 
of a man with a horse and a gun, of travel and 
adventure. Mayne Reid's books had found 
their way to East Twentieth Street, and they 
went with the lad wherever the family tent was 
pitched to ease the little sufferer. One winter 
they spent in Egypt, floating down the Nile 
amid the ruins of empires dead and gone. But 
the past and its dead got no grip on the young 
American. He longed to go back to his own 
country of the mighty forests and the swelling 
plains where men worked out their own destiny. 
He would be a pathfinder, a hunter. But a 
hunter has need of strong thews; of a sound 
body. And to become strong became presently 
the business of his life. 

It was one of the things that early attracted 
me to Theodore Roosevelt, long before he had 
become famous, that he was a believer in the 
gospel of will. Nothing is more certain, hu- 
manly speaking, than this, that what a man 
wills himself to be, that he will be. Is he will- 
ing to put in all on getting rich, rich he will get, 
to find his riches turning to ashes in his dead 
hand ; will he have power, knowledge, strength 
—they are all within his grasp. The question 

[15] 



THEODORE ROOSEVELT 

for him to decide is whether they are worth giv- 
ing up a life to, and, having decided, to give 
it to his ambition. The boy Theodore saw that 
to do anything he must first be strong, and 
chose that. There were many things he might 
have chosen which would have been easier, but 
if you are concerned about that, you will not 
have your way. He was not. He set about 
resolutely removing the reproach of his puny 
body, as it seemed to him. He ran, he rode, he 
swam, he roamed through the hills of his Long 
Island home, the same to which he yet comes 
back to romp with his children on his summer 
holiday. He rowed his skiff intrepidly over 
the white-capped waters of the Bay— that once, 
when I had long been a man, carried mine, de- 
spite all my struggles, across to Center Island 
and threw me, skiff and all, upon the beach, 
a shipwrecked mariner doomed to be ignomini- 
ously ferried across on the yacht club's launch. 
I thought of it the other day when I came 
ashore from the Sylph, and half a mile from 
shore met young Kermit battling alone with 
the waves, hatless and with the salt spray in 
his eyes and hair, tossed here and there as in a 
nutshell, but laughing and undaunted. I do 

[16] 



BOYHOOD IDEALS 

not know where he was going. I doubt if he 
did. His father and mother were ashore and 
on their way home. He was just having it out 
and having a good time. It was his father over 
again, and we cheered him on and let him go. 
1 don't suppose we could have stopped him had 
we tried. 

No more could you have stopped Theodore 
in his day. What he did he did with the will 
to win, yet never as a task. He got no end of 
fun out of it, or it would have been of little use, 
and one secret of that was that he made what 
he did serve an end useful in itself. On his 
tramps through the woods he studied and clas- 
sified the neighborhood birds. He knew their 
song, their plumage, and their nests. So he 
learned something he wanted to know, and 
cultivated the habits of study, of concentration, 
at the time when all boys are impatient of these 
things and most of them shirk them when they 
can, leaving every task unfinished. And all, 
as I said, along of a healthy, outdoor, romping 
life. The reward of that was not long in com- 
ing. Presently strong muscles knit themselves 
about his bones, the frail frame broadened and 
grew tough. The boy held his own with his 

[17] 



THEODORE ROOSEVELT 

fellows. He passed them, and now he led in 
their games. The horse was his; the gun 
loomed in the prospect. College was at hand, 
and then— life. The buffaloes yet roamed 
the plains. One might unite the calling of a 
naturalist, a professor, with the interest of a 
hunter. So ran his dreams. It is the story 
of one American boy who won against odds, 
and though he did not become professor he be- 
came President; and it is a good story for 
all American boys to read. For they can do 
the same, if they choose to. And if they do 
not all become Presidents, they can all be right, 
and so be like him in that which is better still. 
I said he had his dreams. Every boy has, 
and if he does not stop at that, it is good for 
him. Into young Theodore's there had come 
a new element that spoke loudly for the plains, 
for the great West. The Leatherstocking 
stories had been added to his reading. It was 
with something of fear almost that I asked 
him once if he liked them. For I loved them. 
I had lived them all in my Danish home. They 
first set my eyes toward the west, and in later 
years, when I have heard it said, and read in 
reviews that Cooper is out of date; that he 

[18] 



BOYHOOD IDEALS 

never was a first-class writer, I have felt it 
as a personal injury and as if something had 
come between me and the day that cannot love 
Natty Bumppo and Uncas and Mabel Dun- 
ham. And so I say it was with a real pang 
that I asked him if he did not also like them. 

He whirled round with kindling eyes. 

" Like them," he cried, " like them! Why, 
man, there is nothing like them. I could pass 
examination in the whole of them to-day. 
Deerslayer with his long rifle, Jasper and 
Hurry Harry, Ishmael Bush with his seven 
stalwart sons — do I not know them? I have 
bunked with them and eaten with them, and I 
know their strength and their weakness. They 
were narrow and hard, but they were mighty 
men and they did the work of their day and 
opened the way for ours. Do I like them? 
Cooper is unique in American literature, and 
he will grow upon us as we get farther away 
from his day, let the critics say what they will." 
And I was made happy. 

Afterward I remembered with sudden ap- 
prehension that he had spoken only of the white 
men in the books, for it came to me that he had 
lived in the West, where the only good Indian is 

[19] 



THEODORE ROOSEVELT 

esteemed to be the dead Indian. But it was 
needless treachery of my thought. The red 
man has no better friend than the Great White 
Father of to-day, none who burns with hotter 
indignation at the shame our dealings with him 
have brought upon the American name. Un- 
cas and Chingachgook, beloved friends of my 
boyhood, were safe with him. 

I have told you of Theodore Roosevelt's boy- 
hood as from time to time I have gathered 
glimpses of it from himself and from his sis- 
ter, and as I like to think of it. I did not meet 
him till long after both horse and gun had be- 
come living realities. When he was drifting 
and dreaming on the Nile I was sailing across 
the Atlantic to have my first tussle with the 
slum which in after years we fought together. 
And now you know one reason why I love him : 
it was when that same strong will, that honest 
endeavor, that resolute purpose to see right and 
justice done to his poorer brothers — it was 
when they joined in the battle with the slum 
that all my dreams came true, all my ideals be- 
came real. Why should I not love him? 

The boy had grown into a man. Since I 
have here spoken to the boys of his country 

[20] 



BOYHOOD IDEALS 

and, thank God, of mine, let him speak now, 
and judge yourself how performance has 
squared with promise, practice with preaching : 

"Of course what we have a right to expect 
of the American boy is that he shall turn out to 
be a good American man. Now, the chances 
are strong that he won't be much of a man un- 
less he is a good deal of a boy. He must not 
be a coward or a weakling, a bully, a shirk, or 
a prig. He must work hard and play hard. 
He must be clean-minded and clean-lived, and 
able to hold his own under all circumstances 
and against all comers. It is only on these con- 
ditions that he will grow into the kind of a 
man of whom America can really be proud. 

" In life, as in a football game, the principle 
to follow is: Hit the line hard; don't foul and 
don't shirk, but hit the line hard." 



[21 



II 

WHAT HE GOT OUT OF 
COLLEGE 



II 

WHAT HE GOT OUT OF COLLEGE 

RATHER a delicate-looking young fel- 
low yet, not over a hundred and 
* thirty pounds on the scales, slender of 
frame and slim of waist, was the Theodore 
Roosevelt who made his entry into Harvard 
while the country yet rang with the echoes of 
the Electoral Commission and of the destruc- 
tive railroad riots of the summer that followed. 
They were troublous times to begin life in, and 
one would naturally think that they would 
leave their mark upon a spirit like Roosevelt's. 
I know that they did, but the evidence of it 
does not lie on the surface. Neither in the 
memory of his classmates nor in his record as 
an editor of the " Advocate " is there anything 
to suggest it. I was in Pennsylvania during 
those riots, when militiamen were burned like 

T25 1 



THEODORE ROOSEVELT 

rats in a railroad round-house. I saw what 
they meant, and I have no difficulty in making 
out their stamp upon his ardent spirit when I 
read such comments as this on the draft riots 
in his history of New York, though written 
more than a dozen years after : 

" The troops and police were thoroughly 
armed, and attacked the rioters with the most 
wholesome desire to do them harm; ... a 
lesson was inflicted on the lawless and disor- 
derly which they never entirely forgot. Two 
millions of property had been destroyed and 
many valuable lives lost. But over twelve hun- 
dred rioters were slain — an admirable object- 
lesson to the remainder." 

Perhaps they had more to do with shaping 
his later career, those cruel riots, than even he 
has realized, for I should not be surprised if, 
unconsciously, he acted upon their motion in 
joining the militia in his own State, and so 
got the first grip upon the soldiering that stood 
him in such good stead in Cuba. " I wanted," 
he said to me after he had become President, 
" to count for one in the fight for order and for 
the Republic, if the crisis were to come. I 
wanted to be in a position to take a man's stand 

[96] 



WHAT HE GOT OUT OF COLLEGE 

in such a case, that was why." Counting for 
one in the place where he stood, when that was 
the thing to do, then and always, he has got to 
the place where he counts for all of us, should 
such days come back, as please God they will 
not; and nowhere, I think, in the land is there 
any one who doubts that " order and the Re- 
public " are safe in his hands. 

But in his youthful mind these things were 
working yet, unidentified. His was a healthy 
nature without morbid corners. The business 
of his boyhood had been to make himself strong 
that he might do the work of a man, by which 
he had in mind chiefly, no doubt, the horse and 
the gun — the bully, perhaps, whom he had not 
forgotten — but the hunt, the life in the open. 
Now, among his fellows, it was to get the most 
out of what their companionship offered. He 
became instantly a favorite with his class of a 
hundred and seventy-odd. They laughed at 
his oddities, at his unrepressed enthusiasm, at 
his liking for Elizabethan poetry, voted him 
" more or less crazy " with true Harvard con- 
servatism, respected him highly for his scholar- 
ship on the same solid ground, and fell in even 
with his notions for his own sake, as afterward 

[27] 



THEODORE ROOSEVELT 

some of them fell in behind him in the rush 
up San Juan hill, leaving lives of elegance and 
ease to starve with him in the trenches and do 
the chores of a trooper in camp under a tropi- 
cal sun. It is remembered that Theodore 
Roosevelt set Harvard to skipping the rope, 
a sport it had abandoned years before with 
knickerbockers; but it suited this student to 
keep up the exercise as a means of strengthen- 
ing the leg muscles, and rope-skipping became 
a pastime of the class of 1880. In the gym- 
nasium they wore red stockings with their 
practice suits. Roosevelt had happened upon 
a pair that were striped a patriotic red and 
white, and he wore them, at first to the amaze- 
ment of the other students. He did not even 
know that they had attracted attention, but 
when some one told him he laughed and kept 
them on. It was what the legs could do in the 
stockings he was there to find out. Twenty 
years after I heard a policeman call him a dude 
when he walked up the steps of police head- 
quarters with a silk sash about his waist, some- 
thing no man had been known to wear in Mul- 
berry Street in the memory of the oldest there ; 
and I saw the same officer looking after him 

[28] 



WHAT HE GOT OUT OF COLLEGE 

down the street, as long as he was in sight, the 
day he went, and turn back with a sigh that 
made him my friend forever: " There won't 
such another come through that door again in 
my time, that there won't." And there did not. 
The old man is retired long since. 

He joined the exclusive " Pork " Club, and 
forthwith smashed all its hallowed traditions 
and made the Porcellian blood run cold, by 
taking his fiancee to lunch where no woman 
ever trod before. He simply saw no reason 
why a lady should not lunch at a gentlemen's 
club; and when the shocked bachelor minds of 
the " Pork " Club searched the horizon for one 
to confront him with, they discovered that there 
was none. Accordingly the world still stood, 
and so did the college. He played polo, did 
athletic stunts with the fellows, and drove a 
two-wheeled gig badly, having no end of good 
times in it. When he put on the boxing-gloves, 
he hailed the first comer with the more delight 
if he happened to be the champion of the class, 
who was twice his size and heft. The pum- 
meling that ensued he took with the most 
hearty good will ; and though his nose bled and 
his glasses fell off, putting him at a disadvan- 

[29] 



THEODORE ROOSEVELT 

tage, he refused grimly to cry quarter, and 
pressed the fight home in a way that always 
reminds me of that redoubtable Danish sea- 
fighter, Peter Tordenskjold, who kept up the 
fight, firing pewter dinner-plates and mugs 
from his one gun, when on his little smack 
there was left but a single man of the crew, 
" and he wept." Tordenskjold killed the cap- 
tain of the Swedish frigate with one of his 
mugs and got away. Roosevelt was bested in 
his boxing-matches often enough, but, how- 
ever superior, his opponents bore away always 
the impression that they had faced a fighter. 
But the battle was not always to the strong 
in those days. I have heard a story of how 
Roosevelt beat a man with a reputation as a 
fighter, but not, it would appear, with the in- 
stincts of a gentleman. I shall not vouch for it, 
for I have not asked him about it ; but it is typi- 
cal enough to be true, except for the wonder 
how the fellow got in there. He took, so the 
story runs, a mean advantage and struck a 
blow that drew blood before Roosevelt had 
got his glove on right. The bystanders cried 
foul, but Roosevelt smiled one of his grim 
smiles. 

[30] 




THEODORE ROOSEVELT AS A HARVARD SENIOR 

PHOTOGRAPH BY PACH BROTHERS 



WHAT HE GOT OUT OF COLLEGE 

" I guess you made a mistake. We do not 
do that way here," he said, offering the other 
his gloved hand in formal salutation as a sign 
to begin hostilities. The next moment his right 
shot out and took the man upon the point of the 
jaw, and the left followed suit. In two min- 
utes he was down and out. Roosevelt was " in 
form " that day. All the fighting blood in him 
had been roused by the unfairness of the blow. 
I have seen him when his blood was up for 
good cause once or twice, and I rather think 
the story must be true. If I were to fight him 
and wanted to win, I should shun a foul blow 
as I would the pestilence. I am sure I would 
not run half the risk from the latter. 

Play was part of the college life, and he 
took a hand in it because it belonged. Work 
was the bigger part, and he did not shirk it, or 
any of it. I am not sure, but I have a notion 
that he did not like arithmetic. I feel it in my 
bones, somehow. Perhaps the wish is father to 
the thought. I know I hated it. But I will 
warrant he went through with it all the same, 
which I did not. I think he was among the first 
twenty in his class, which graduated a hundred 
and forty. He early picked out as his special- 

[31] 



THEODORE ROOSEVELT 

ties the history of men and things, animals in- 
cluded. The ambition to be a naturalist and a 
professor clung to him still, but more and more 
the doings of men and of their concerns began 
to attract him. It was so with all he did in col- 
lege, whether at work or play— it was the life 
that moved in it he was after. Unconsciously 
yet, I think, his own lif e began to shape itself 
upon its real lines. He read the " Federalist " 
with the entire absorption that was and is his 
characteristic, and lived and thought with the 
makers of our government. There are few 
public men to-day who are more firmly 
grounded in those fundamentals than he, and 
the airy assumption of shallow politicians and 
critics who think they have in Roosevelt to do 
with a man of their own kind sometimes makes 
me smile. The faculty of forgetting all else 
but the topic in hand is one of the great se- 
crets of his success in whatever he has under- 
taken as an official. It is the faculty of getting 
things done. They tell stories yet, that go 
around the board at class dinners, of how he 
would come into a fellow-student's room for a 
visit, and, picking up a book, would become 
immediately and wholly absorbed in its con- 

[32] 



WHAT HE GOT OUT OF COLLEGE 

tents, then wake up with a guilty start to con- 
fess that his whole hour was gone and hurry 
away while they shouted after him. It was the 
student in him which we in our day are so apt. 
to forget in the man of action, of deeds. But 
the two have always gone together in him ; they 
belong together. In all the wild excitement 
of the closing hours of the convention that set 
him in the Vice-President's chair he, alone in 
an inner room, was reading Thucydides, says 
Albert Shaw, who was with him. He was rest- 
ing. I saw him pick up a book, in a lull in the 
talk, the other day, and instantly forget all 
things else. He was not reading the book as 
much as he was living it. So, men get all there 
is out of what is in hand, and they are few who 
can do it. However, of that I shall have more 
to say later, when I have him in Mulberry 
Street, where he was mine for two years. 

His college chums, sometimes, seeing the 
surface drift and judging from it, thought him 
" quite unrestrained," as one of them put it to 
me, meaning that he lacked a strong grip on 
himself. It was a natural mistake. They saw 
the enthusiasm that gave seemingly full vent 
to itself and tested men by the contact, not 

[33] 



THEODORE ROOSEVELT 

the cautious, almost wary, deliberation which 
in the end guided action, though he himself 
but half knew it. They laughed a little at his 
jump at the proposition to go to Greenland 
with a classmate and study the fauna there— he 
was planning the trip before it had been fairly 
suggested— and at the preparations he made 
for a tiger-hunting expedition to India with his 
brother Elliott. The fact that in both cases he 
acted upon the coolest judgment and stayed 
home occurred to them only long afterward. 
To me at this end, with his later life to interpret 
its beginning, it seems clear enough that al- 
ready the perfect balance that has distin- 
guished his mental processes since was begin- 
ning to assert itself. However he might seem 
to be speeding toward extremes, he never got 
there. He buried himself in his books, but he 
woke up at the proper seasons, and what he 
had got he kept. He went in for the play, 
all there was of it, but he never mistook the 
means for the end and let the play run away 
with him. Long years after, when the thing 
that was then taking shape in him had ripened, 
he wrote it down in the record of his Western 
hunts: "Ina certain kind of fox-hunting lore 

[34] 



WHAT HE GOT OUT OF COLLEGE 

there is much reference to a Warwickshire 
squire who, when the Parliamentary and Roy- 
alist armies were forming for the battle at 
Edgehill, was discovered between the hostile 
lines 5 unmovedly drawing the covers for a fox. 
Now, this placid sportsman should by rights 
have been slain offhand by the first trooper who 
reached him, whether Cavalier or Roundhead. 
He had mistaken means for ends, he had con- 
founded the healthful play which should fit 
a man for needful work with the work itself, 
and mistakes of this kind are sometimes crim- 
inal. Hardy sports of the field offer the best 
possible training for war ; but they become con- 
temptible when indulged in while the nation 
is at death-grips with her enemies." 

One factor in this mental balance, his un- 
hesitating moral courage which shirked no dis- 
agreeable task and was halted by no false pride 
of opinion, had long been apparent. He was 
known as a good hand for a disagreeable task 
that had to be done, a reproof to be adminis- 
tered in justice and fairness — I am thinking 
of how the man kept that promise of the youth, 
before Santiago, when for the twentieth time 
he " wrecked a promising career " with his fa- 

[35] 



THEODORE ROOSEVELT 

mous round-robin— and also for the generous 
speed with which he would hasten to undo a 
wrong done by word or act. There were no 
half-way measures with him then. He owned 
right up. " He was fair always," said one of 
his classmates who was close to him. " He 
never tried to humbug others, or himself either, 
but spoke right out in meeting, telling it all." 
No wonder some within reach thought him 
erratic. There has never been a time in the 
history of the world when such a course would 
commend itself to all men as sane. It com- 
mended itself to him as right, and that was 
enough. 

A distinguishing trait in his father had been 
—he died while Theodore was at college— 
devotion to duty, and the memory of it and 
of him was potent with the son. He tried 
to walk in his steps. " I tried faithfully to do 
what father had done," he told me- once when 
we talked about him, " but I did it poorly. I 
became Secretary of the Prison Reform Asso- 
ciation (I think that was the society he spoke 
of), and joined this and that committee. Fa- 
ther had done good work on so many; but in 
the end I found out that we have each to work 

[36] 



WHAT HE GOT OUT OF COLLEGE 

in his own way to do our best; and when I 
struck mine, though it differed from his, yet 
I was able to follow the same lines and do 
what he would have had me do." 

It was thus natural that Theodore Roosevelt 
should have sought out a Sunday-school and a 
chance to teach as soon as he was settled at 
Harvard, and that his choice should have fallen 
upon a mission school. He went there in pur- 
suit of no scheme of philanthropy. Provi- 
dence had given him opportunities and a train- 
ing that were denied these, and it was simple 
fairness that he should help his neighbor who 
was less fortunate through no fault of his own. 
The Roosevelts were Dutch Reformed. He 
found no Dutch Reformed church at Cam- 
bridge, but there were enough of other denom- 
inations. The handiest was Episcopal. It 
happened that it was of high church bent. 
Theodore Roosevelt asked no questions, but 
went to work. With characteristic directness 
he was laying down the way of life to the 
boys and girls in his class when an untoward 
event happened. One of his boys came to 
school with a black eye. He owned up that 
he had got it in a fight, and on Sunday. His 

[37] 



THEODORE ROOSEVELT 

teacher made stern inquiry. " Jim " some- 
body, it appeared, who sat beside his sister, had 
been pinching her all through the hour, and 
when they came out they had a stand-up fight 
and he punched him good, bearing away the 
black eye as his share. The verdict was prompt. 
" You did perfectly right," said his teacher, 
and he gave him a dollar. To the class it was 
ideal justice, but it got out among the officers 
of the school and scandalized them dreadfully. 
Roosevelt was not popular with them. Unfa- 
miliar with the forms of the service, he had 
failed at times to observe them all as they 
thought he should. They wished to know if he 
had any objection to any of them. No, none 
in the world; he was ready to do anything 
required of him. He himself was Dutch Re- 
formed—he got no farther. The idea of a 
" Dutch Reformed " teaching in their school, 
superimposed upon the incident of the black 
eye, was too much. They parted with some- 
what formal expressions of mutual regard. 
Roosevelt betook himself to a Congregational 
Sunday-school near by and taught there the 
rest of his four years' course in college. How 
it fared with Jim's conqueror I do not know. 

[38] 



WHAT HE GOT OUT OF COLLEGE 

Before he had finished the course, Roosevelt 
had started upon his literary career. It came in 
the day's work, without conscious purpose on 
his part to write a book. They had at his Club 
James' history, an English work, and he found 
that it made detailed misstatements about the 
war of 1812. Upon looking up American au- 
thorities, it turned out that they gave no de- 
tailed contradictions of these statements. The 
reason was not wholly free from meanness: in 
nearly all the sea-fights of that war the Ameri- 
can forces had outnumbered the British, often 
very materially ; but the home historians, wish- 
ing not to emphasize this fact, had contented 
themselves with the mere statement that the 
" difference was trifling," thus by their fool- 
ish vaunts opening the door to exaggeration 
in the beaten enemy's camp. The facts which 
Roosevelt brought out from the official files 
with absolute impartiality grew into his 
first book, " The Naval War of 1812," which 
took rank at once as an authority. The 
British paid the young author, then barely 
out of college, the high compliment of 
asking him to write the chapter on this 
war for their monumental work on " The 

[39] 



THEODORE ROOSEVELT 

Royal Navy," and there it stands to-day, 
unchallenged. 

So with work and with play and with the 
class politics in which Theodore took a vigorous 
hand, the four years wore away as one. He 
was, by the way, not a good speaker in those 
days, I am told; but such speeches as he made 
—and he never farmed the duty out when it 
was his to do— were very much to the point. 
One is remembered yet with amusement by 
a distinguished lawyer in this city. He had 
been making an elaborate and as he thought 
lucid argument in class-meeting, and sat down, 
properly proud of the impression he must have 
made ; when up rose Theodore Roosevelt. 

" I have been listening, Mr. Chairman," he 
spoke, " and, so far as I can see, not one word 

of what Mr. has said has any more to do 

with this matter than has the man in the moon. 
It is—" but the class was in a roar, and what 
" it was " the indignant previous speaker never 
learned. 

But, as I said, the years passed, and, having 
graduated, Roosevelt went abroad to spend a 
year with alternate study in Germany and 
mountain-climbing in Switzerland by way of 

[40] 



WHAT HE GOT OUT OF COLLEGE 

letting off steam. Probably the verdict men 
might have set down against his whole col- 
lege career would have been that it was in no 
way remarkable. Here and there some one 
had taken notice of the young man, as hav- 
ing quite unusual powers of observation and 
of concentration, but nothing had happened 
of any extraordinary nature, though things 
enough happened where he was around. Later 
on, when the fact had long compelled public 
attention, I asked him how it was. His an- 
swer I recommend to the close attention and 
study of young men everywhere who want to 
get on. 

" I put myself in the way of things happen- 
ing," he said, " and they happened.' ' 

It may be that the longer they think of it, 
like myself, the more they will see in it. A 
plain and homely prescription, but so, when 
you look at it, has been the man's whole life so 
far— a plain talk to plain people, on plain is- 
sues of right and wrong. The extraordinary 
thing is that some of us should have got up such 
a heat about it. Though, come to think of it, 
that is n't so extraordinary either; the issues 
are so very plain. " Thou shalt not steal " is 

[41] 



THEODORE ROOSEVELT 

not exactly revolutionary preaching, but it is 
apt to stir up feelings when it means what it 
says. No extraordinary ambitions, no other 
thought than to do his share of what there was 
to do, and to do it well, stirred in this young 
student now sailing across the seas to begin life 
in his native land, to take up a man's work in a 
man's country. None of his college chums 
had been found to predict for him a brilliant 
public career. Even now they own it. 

What, then, had he got out of his five years 
of study? They were having a reunion of his 
class when he was Police Commissioner, and 
he was there. One of the professors told of a 
student coming that day to bid him good-by. 
He asked him what was to be his work in the 
world. 

" Oh! " said he, with a little yawn. " Really, 
do you know, professor, it does not seem to me 
that there is anything that is much worth 
while." 

Theodore Roosevelt, who had been sitting, 
listening, at the other end of the table, got up 
suddenly and worked his way round to the pro- 
fessor's seat. He struck the table a blow that 
was not meant for it alone. 

[42] 



WHAT HE GOT OUT OF COLLEGE 

" That fellow," said he, " ought to have been 
knocked in the head. I would rather take my 
chances with a blackmailing policeman than 
with such as he." 

That was what Theodore Roosevelt got out 
of his years at Harvard. And I think, upon 
the whole, that he could have got nothing bet- 
ter, for himself, for us, or for the college. 



[43] 



Ill 

EARLY LESSONS IN POLITICS 



Ill 

EARLY LESSONS IN POLITICS 

IN the year when President Garfield died, 
New York saw the unusual sight of two 
young " silk-stockings/' neither of whom 
had ever been in politics before, running for 
office in a popular election. One was the rep- 
resentative of vast inherited wealth, the other 
of the bluest of the old Knickerbocker blood: 
William Waldorf Astor and Theodore Roose- 
velt. One ran for Congress, pouring out 
money like water, contemptuously confident 
that so he could buy his way in. The news- 
papers reported his nightly progress from sa- 
loon to saloon, where " the boys " were thirstily 
waiting to whoop it up for him, and the size 
of " the wad " he left at each place, as with ill- 
suppressed disgust he fled to the next. The 
other, nominated for the State Legislature on 

[47] 



THEODORE ROOSEVELT 

an issue of clean streets and clean politics, 
though but a year out of college, made his can- 
vass squarely upon that basis, and astounded 
old-time politicians by the fire he put into the 
staid residents of the brownstone district, who 
were little in the habit of bothering about elec- 
tions. He, too, was started upon a round of the 
saloons, under management. At the first call 
the management and that end of the canvass 
gave out together. Thereafter he went it alone. 
He was elected, and twice re-elected to his seat, 
with ever-increasing majorities. Astor was 
beaten, and, in anger, quit the country. To- 
day he lives abroad, a self -expatriated Ameri- 
can. Theodore Roosevelt, who believes in the 
people, is President of the United States. 

There was no need of my asking him how he 
came to go into politics, for how he could have 
helped it I cannot see ; but I did. He thought 
awhile. 

" I suppose for one thing ordinary, plain, 
every-day duty sent me there to begin with. 
But, more than that, I wanted to belong to the 
governing class, not to the governed. When 
I said that I wanted to go to the Republican 
Association, they told me that I would meet 

[48] 



EARLY LESSONS IN POLITICS 

the groom and the saloon-keeper there; that 
politics were low, and that no gentleman both- 
ered with them. ' Then,' said I, ' if that is so, 
the groom and the saloon-keeper are the gov- 
erning class and you confess weakness. You 
have all the chances, the education, the position, 
and you let them rule you. They must be 
better men ; ' and I went. 

" I joined the association, attended the meet- 
ings, and did my part in whatever was going. 
We did n't always agree, and sometimes they 
voted me down and sometimes I had my way. 
They were a jolly enough lot and I had a good 
time. The grooms were there, some of them, 
and some of their employers, and we pulled 
together as men should if we are to make any- 
thing out of our country, and by and by we had 
an election." 

There had been a fight about the dirty 
streets. The people wanted a free hand given 
to Mayor Grace, but the machine opposed. 
The Assemblyman from Roosevelt's district, 
the old Twenty-first, was in disgrace on that 
account. The Republican boss of the district, 
" Jake " Hess, was at odds with his lieuten- 
ants, " Joe " Murray and Major Eullard, and 

[49] 



THEODORE ROOSEVELT 

in making up the list of delegates to the As- 
sembly Convention they outgeneraled him, 
naming fifteen of the twenty-five. Thus they 
had the nomination within their grasp, but 
they had no candidate. Roosevelt had taken an 
active part in opposing the machine man, and 
he and Murray had pulled together. There 
is something very characteristic of Theodore 
Roosevelt in this first political alliance as re- 
lated by Murray. " When he found we were 
on the same side, he went to Ed Mitchell, who 
had been in the Legislature, and asked what 
kind of a man I was, and when he was told 
he gave me his confidence" It is another 
of the simple secrets of his success in dealing 
with men: to make sure of them and then to 
trust them. Men rarely betray that kind of 
trust. Murray did not. 

Presently he bethought himself of Theodore 
Roosevelt, who was fighting but didn't yet quite 
know how. As a candidate he might bring out 
the vote which ordinarily in that silk-stocking 
district came to the polls only in a Presidential 
year. He asked him to run, but Roosevelt 
refused. It might look as if he had come there 
for his personal advantage. Murray reasoned 

[50] 



EARLY LESSONS IN POLITICS 

with him, but he was firm. He suggested 
several candidates, and one after another 
they were turned down. Roosevelt had an- 
other batch. Murray promised to look them 
over. 

" And if I can't find one to suit, will you 
take it then? " he asked. Yes, he would do 
that, as a last resort. 

" But I did n't look for no other candidate 
when I had his promise," says " Joe," placidly, 
telling of it. " Good reason : I could n't find 
any better, nor as good." 

" Joe " Murray is a politician, but that day 
he plotted well for his country. 

Roosevelt was nominated and began the can- 
vass at once. The boss himself took him around 
to the saloons that night, to meet " the peo- 
ple." They began at Valentine Young's place 
on Sixth Avenue. Mr. Hess treated and in- 
troduced the candidate. Mr. Young was 
happy. He hoped he was against high license ; 
he, Young, hated it. Now, Roosevelt was at- 
tracted by high license and promptly said so 
and that he would favor it all he could. He 
gave his reasons. The argument became 
heated, the saloon-keeper personal. The boss 

[51] 



THEODORE ROOSEVELT 

looked on, stunned. He did not like that way 
of making votes. 

Neither did Mr. Roosevelt. He sent "Jake" 
Hess home and quit the saloon canvass then 
and there. Instead he went among his neigh- 
bors and appealed to them. The " brown- 
stone " vote came out. " Joe " Murray rubs his 
hands yet at the thought of it. Such a follow- 
ing he had not dreamed of in his wildest flights. 
Men worth millions solicited the votes of their 
coachmen and were glad to get them. Dean 
Van Amringe peddled tickets with the Co- 
lumbia professors. Men became suddenly 
neighbors who had never spoken to one another 
before, and pulled together for the public good. 
Murray was charged with trading his candi- 
date off for Astor for Congress ; but the event 
vindicated him triumphantly. Roosevelt ran 
far ahead of the beaten candidate for Con- 
gress. He took his seat in the Legislature, 
the youngest member in it, just as he is now 
the youngest President. 

He was not received with enthusiasm by the 
old wheel-horses, and the fact did credit to their 
discernment, if not to their public spirit. I 
doubt if they would have understood what was 

[52] 



EARLY LESSOXS IN POLITICS 

meant by this last. They were there on the 
good old plan — good so far always for the 
purpose it served— that was put in its plainest, 
most brutal form, years after, by the champion 
of spoilsmen forever: " I am in politics work- 
ing for my own pocket all the time — same as 
you." The sneer told of their weak spot. The 
man who has lost faith in man has lost his grip. 
He may not know it, but he has. I fancy they 
felt it at the coming of this young man who 
had taught the Commandments in Sunday- 
school because he believed in them. They 
laughed a little uneasily and guessed he would 
be good, if he were kept awhile. 

Before half the season had passed he had 
justified their fears, if they had them. There 
was an elevated railroad ring that had been 
guilty of unblushing corruption involving the 
Attorney-General of the State and a Judge of 
the Supreme Court. The scandal was flagrant 
and foul. The people were aroused, petitioned 
respectfully but chafed angrily under the 
yawn with which their remonstrances were 
received in the Assembly. The legislators 
" referred " the petition and thought it dead. 
But they had forgotten Roosevelt. 

[53] 



THEODORE ROOSEVELT 

He had been watching and wondering. To 
him an unsullied judiciary was the ground 
fabric of society. Here were charges of the 
most serious kind against a judge smothered 
unheard. He asked his elders on the Republi- 
can benches what was to be done about it. 
Nothing. Nothing? Then he would inquire 
publicly. They ran to him in alarm. Nothing 
but harm could come of it, to him and to the 
party. He must not; it was rank folly. The 
thing was loaded. 

" It was," wrote an unnamed writer in the 
" Saturday Evening Post," whose story should 
be framed and hung in the Assembly Cham- 
ber as a chart for young legislators of good 
intentions but timid before sneers, " it was ob- 
viously the counsel of experienced wisdom. So 
far as the clearest judgment could see, it was 
not the moment for attack. Indeed, it looked 
as if attack would strengthen the hands of cor- 
ruption by exposing the weakness of the oppo- 
sition to it. Never did expediency put a 
temptation to conscience more insidiously. 

" It was on April 6, 1882, that young Roose- 
velt took the floor in the Assembly and de- 
manded that Judge Westbrook, of Newburg, 

[54] 



EARLY LESSONS IN POLITICS 

be impeached. And for sheer moral courage 
that act is probably supreme in Roosevelt's life 
thus far. He must have expected failure. 
Even his youth and idealism and ignorance of 
public affairs could not blind him to the ap- 
parently inevitable consequences. Yet he drew 
his sword and rushed apparently to destruc- 
tion—alone, and at the very outset of his ca- 
reer, and in disregard of the pleadings of his 
closest friends and the plain dictates of po- 
litical wisdom. 

" That speech— the deciding act in Roose- 
velt's career— is not remarkable for eloquence. 
But it is remarkable for fearless candor. He 
called thieves thieves regardless of their mil- 
lions; he slashed savagely at the Judge and 
the Attorney-General; he told the plain, un- 
varnished truth as his indignant eyes saw it. 

; ' When he finished, the veteran leader of 
the Republicans rose and with gently contemp- 
tuous raillery asked that the resolution to take 
up the charges be voted down. He said he 
wished to give young Mr. Roosevelt time to 
think about the wisdom of his course. 'I,' said 
he, ' have seen many reputations in the State 
broken down by loose charges made in the 

[55] 



THEODORE ROOSEVELT 

Legislature.' And presently the Assembly 
gave ' young Mr. Roosevelt time to think ' by 
voting not to take up his ' loose charges.' 

" Ridicule, laughter, a ripple— apparently it 
was all over, except the consequences to the 
bumptious and dangerous young man which 
might flow from the cross set against his name 
in the black books of the ring. 

" It was a disheartening defeat— almost all 
of his own party voted against him; the most 
earnest of those who ventured to support him 
were Democrats; perhaps half of those who 
voted with him did so merely because their 
votes were not needed to beat him. 

" That night the young man was once more 
urged to be ' sensible,' to ' have regard to his 
future usefulness,' to ' cease injuring the 
party.' He snapped his teeth together and 
defied the party leaders. And the next day he 
again rose and again lifted his puny voice and 
his puny hand against smiling, contemptuous 
corruption. Day after day he persevered on 
the floor of the Assembly, in interviews for the 
press; a few newspapers here and there joined 
him ; Assemblymen all over the State began to 
hear from their constituents. Within a week 

[56] 



EARLY LESSONS IN POLITICS 

his name was known from Buffalo to Montauk 
Point, and everywhere the people were ap- 
plauding him. On the eighth day of his bold, 
smashing attack the resolution to take up the 
charges was again voted upon at his demand. 
And the Assemblymen, with the eyes of the 
whole people upon them, did not dare longer 
to keep themselves on record as defenders of a 
judge who feared to demand an investigation. 
The opposition collapsed. Roosevelt won by 
104 to 6." 

In the end the corruptionists escaped. The 
committee made a whitewashing report. Rut 
the testimony was damning and more than vin- 
dicated the attack. A victory had been won; 
open corruption had been driven to the wall. 
Roosevelt had met his party on a moral issue 
and had forced it over on the side of right. 
He had achieved backing. Out of that fight 
came the phrase " the wealthy criminal class " 
that ran through the country. In his essay on 
" true American ideals " he identifies it with 
" the conscienceless stock speculator who ac- 
quires wealth by swindling his fellows, by de- 
bauching judges and legislatures," and his 
kind. " There is not," he exclaims, " in the 

[57] 



THEODORE ROOSEVELT 

world a more ignoble character than the mere 
money-getting American, insensible to every 
duty, regardless of every principle, bent only 
on amassing a fortune, and putting his fortune 
only to the basest uses— whether these uses be 
to speculate in stocks and wreck railroads him- 
self, or to allow his son to lead a life of foolish 
and expensive idleness and gross debauchery, 
or to purchase some scoundrel of high social 
position, foreign or native, for his daughter." 

* Young Mr. Roosevelt " went into the next 
Legislature re-elected with a big majority in 
a year that saw his party go down in defeat all 
along the line, as its leader on the floor of the 
house. At twenty-four he was proposed for 
Speaker. Then came his real test. Long after, 
he told me of it. 

" I suppose," he said, " that my head was 
swelled. It would not be strange if it was. 
I stood out for my own opinion, alone. I took 
the best mugwump stand: my own conscience, 
my own judgment, were to decide in all things. 
I would listen to no argument, no advice. I 
took the isolated peak on every issue, and my 
people left me. When I looked around, before 
the session was well under way, I found my- 

[58] 



EARLY LESSONS IN POLITICS 

self alone. I was absolutely deserted. The 
people did n't understand. The men from 
Erie, from Suffolk, from anywhere, would not 
work with me. ' He won't listen to anybody/ 
they said, and I would not. My isolated peak 
had become a valley; every bit of influence I 
had was gone. The things I wanted to do I 
was powerless to accomplish. What did I do? 
I looked the ground over and made up my 
mind that there were several other excellent 
people there, with honest opinions of the right, 
even though they differed from me. I turned 
in to help them, and they turned to and gave 
me a hand. And so we were able to get things 
done. We did not agree in all things, but we 
did in some, and those we pulled at together. 
That was my first lesson in real politics. It 
is just this: if you are cast on a desert island 
with only a screw-driver, a hatchet, and a chisel 
to make a boat with, why, go make the best one 
you can. It would be better if you had a saw, 
but you have n't. So with men. Here is my 
friend in Congress who is a good man, a strong 
man, but cannot be made to believe in some 
things which I trust. It is too bad that he 
does n't look at it as I do, but he does not,, and 

[59] 



THEODORE ROOSEVELT 

we have to work together as we can. There is 
a point, of course, where a man must take the 
isolated peak and break with it all for clear 
principle, but until it comes he must work, if he 
would be of use, with men as they are. As long 
as the good in them overbalances the evil, let 
him work with that for the best that can be 
got." 

One can hardly turn a page of his writings 
even to this day without coming upon evidence 
that he has never forgotten the lesson of the 
isolated peak. 

The real things of life were getting their 
grip on him more and more. The old laissez 
faire doctrine that would let bad enough alone 
because it was the easiest way still pervaded 
the teaching of his college days, as applied to 
social questions. The day of the Settlement 
had not yet come; but his father had been a 
whole social settlement and a charity organiza- 
tion society combined in his own person, and 
the son was not content with the bookish view 
of affairs that so intimately concerned the wel- 
fare of the republic to which he led back all 
things. The bitter cry of the virtually enslaved 
tenement cigarmakers had reached Albany, 

[60] 




































V 






















■ ~ " 


to~— -^ - m I" 


















^Qp 


*-• 










1 r 




jP^ 






I • 






















HH 



THEODORE ROOSEVELT AS CANDIDATE FOR 
MAYOR OF NEW YORK CITY 

PHOTOGRAPH BY FAT,K 



EARLY LESSONS IN POLITICS 

and Roosevelt went to their rescue at once. He 
was not satisfied with hearsay evidence, but 
went through the tenements and saw for him- 
self. The conditions he found made a pro- 
found impression upon him. They were after- 
ward, when I wrote " How the Other Half 
Lives," an introduction to him and a bond of 
sympathy between us. He told the Legisla- 
ture what he had seen, and a bill was passed 
to stop the evil, but it was declared unconsti- 
tutional in the courts. The time was not yet 
ripe for many things in which he was after- 
ward to bear a hand. A dozen years later, as 
Health Commissioner, he helped destroy some 
of the very tenements in which at that earlier 
day industrial slavery in its worst form was 
intrenched too strongly to be dislodged by law. 
The world "do move," with honest hands to 
help it. 

It was so with the investigation of the city 
departments he headed. There was enough to 
investigate, but we had not yet grown a con- 
science robust enough to make the facts tell. 
Parkhurst had first to prepare the ground. 
The committee sat for a couple of weeks, per- 
haps three, at the old Metropolitan Hotel, and 

[611 



THEODORE ROOSEVELT 

it was there I first met Theodore Roosevelt, 
when the police officials were on the stand. I 
remember distinctly but one incident of that 
inquiry. It was when lawyer George Bliss, 
who could be very cutting when it suited his 
purpose, made an impertinent remark, as coun- 
sel for the Police Commissioners. I can see 
" young " Mr. Roosevelt yet, leaning across 
the table with the look upon his face that al- 
ways compelled attention, and saying with 
pointed politeness : "Of course you do not 
mean that, Mr. Bliss ; for if you did we should 
have to have you put out in the street." Mr. 
Bliss did not mean it. 

It was at that session, too, I think, that he 
struck his first blow for the civil service re- 
form which his father contended for when it 
had few friends; for which cause the Republi- 
can machine rejected his nomination for Col- 
lector of the Port of New York. I know how 
it delighted the son's heart to carry on his fa- 
ther's work then and when afterward as Gov- 
ernor he clinched it in the best civil service law 
the State has ever had. But, more than that, 
he saw that this was one of the positions to be 
rushed if the enemy were to be beaten out. 

[62] 



EARLY LESSONS IN POLITICS 

Another was the power of confirmation the 
Aldermen had over the Mayor's appointments 
in New York. Thus even the best administra- 
tion would be helpless with a majority of Tam- 
many members on the Board of Aldermen. 
Such a thing as the election of a reform Board 
of Aldermen was then unthinkable. He 
wrested that power from them and gave it to 
the Mayor, and, in doing it, all unconsciously 
paved the way for himself to the office in which, 
under Mayor Strong, he leaped into National 
importance. There are many striking coinci- 
dences of the kind in Theodore Roosevelt's 
career. I have noticed that they are to be 
found in the life of every man who goes straight 
ahead and does what he knows is right, taking 
the best counsel he can and learning from life 
as it shapes itself under his touch. All the 
time he is laying out grappling-hooks, without 
knowing it, for the opportunity that comes 
only to the one who can profit by it, and, when 
it passes, he lays hold of it quite naturally. It 
is only another way of putting Roosevelt's phi- 
losophy that things happen to those who are 
in the way of it. It is the idlers who prate 
of chance and luck. Luck is lassoed by the 

[63] 



THEODORE ROOSEVELT 

masterful man, by the man who knows and who 
can. And it is well that it is so, or we should 
be in a pretty mess. 

I have spoken at considerable length about 
Theodore Roosevelt's early legislative expe- 
rience because I am concerned about showing 
how he grew to what he is. Men do not jump 
up in a night like mushrooms, some good cred- 
ulous people to the contrary notwithstanding, 
or shoot up like rockets. If they do, they are 
apt to come down like sticks. At least Mr. 
Roosevelt stays up a long time, they will have 
to admit. I have heard of him being " dis- 
covered " by politicians as Civil Service Com- 
missioner, as Police Commissioner, as fitter-out 
of the navy for the Spanish fight, as Rough- 
Rider — almost as often as he has been ruined 
by his vagaries which no one could survive ; and 
I have about made up my mind that politicians 
are the most credulous of beings, instead of 
the reverse. The fact is that he is a perfectly 
logical product of a certain course of conduct 
deliberately entered upon and faithfully ad- 
hered to all through life, as all of us are who 
have any character worth mentioning. For 
that is what character means, that a man will 

[64] 



EARLY LESSONS IN POLITICS 

do so and so as occasions arise demanding 
action. Now here is a case in point. When 
President Roosevelt speaks nowadays about 
the necessity of dropping all race and creed dis- 
tinctions, if we want to be good Americans, 
some one on the outskirts of the crowd winks 
his left eye and says " politics." When he 
promoted a Jew in the Police Department or 
in his regiment, it was politics, politics. Well, 
this incident I am going to tell you about he 
had himself forgotten. When I asked him 
about it, he recalled it slowly and with diffi- 
culty, for it happened in the days before he had 
entered the Legislature. I had it from a friend 
of his, the head of one of our great institutions 
of learning, who was present at the time. 

It was at the Federal Club, a young Repub- 
lican club started to back up the older organ- 
ization and since merged with it. A young 
Jew had been proposed for membership. He 
was of good family, personally unobjection- 
able, had no enemies in the club. Yet it was 
proposed deliberately to blackball him. There 
was no pretense about it; it was a perfectly 
bald issue of Gentile against Jew in a club 
where it was easy to keep him out, at least so 

[65] 



THEODORE ROOSEVELT 

they thought— till Roosevelt heard of it at 
the meeting. Then and there he got up and 
said what he thought of it. It was not com- 
plimentary to the conspirators. They were 
there as Republicans, as American citizens, he 
said, to work together for better things on the 
basis of being decent. The proposition to 
exclude a man because he was a Jew was not 
decent. For him, the minute race and creed 
were brought into the club, he would quit, and 
at once. 

" He flayed them as I never heard a body of 
men flayed in my life," said my informant 
" Roosevelt was pale with anger. The club sat 
perfectly still under the lashing. When he sat 
down amid profound silence, the vote was 
taken. There were no black balls. The Jew 
never knew how narrowly he missed getting 
in." He had a chance to vote for Roosevelt 
three times for the Legislature in settlement of 
the account he did not know he owed, and I 
hope he did. 

When Mr. Roosevelt's third term was out, 
he had earned a seat in the National council 
of his party. He went to Chicago in 1884 as a 
delegate to the convention which nominated 

[66] 



EARLY LESSONS IN POLITICS 

Blaine. He was strongly in opposition, and 
fought hard to prevent the nomination. The 
outcome was a sore thrust to him. Some of his 
associates never forgave him that he did not 
bolt with them and stay out. Roosevelt came 
back from the far West, where he had gone 
to wear off his disappointment, and went into 
the fight with his party. His training was 
bearing fruit. " At times," I read in one of 
his essays, " a man must cut loose from his as- 
sociates and stand for a great cause; but the 
necessity for such action is almost as rare as 
the necessity for a revolution." He did not 
join in the revolution; the time had not come, 
in his judgment, to take the isolated peak. 

There came to me just now a letter from 
one of his classmates in college who has heard 
that I am writing about Mr. Roosevelt. He 
was one of those who revolted, but I shall set 
his testimony down here as quite as good an 
explanation of Theodore Roosevelt's course as 
Mr. Roosevelt could furnish himself. 

" He was," he writes, speaking of his college 
friend, " next to my own father, the purest- 
minded man I ever knew. . . . He was free 
from any tinge of self-seeking. Indeed, he 

[67] 



THEODORE ROOSEVELT 

was free, as I knew him, from self -conscious- 
ness. What he said and did was simply the 
unstudied expression of his true self. . . . Al- 
though I very rarely see him, I have naturally 
followed his career with close interest. I am 
convinced that the few of his acts that I find it 
hard to condone (e.g., his advocacy of Mr. 
Blaine's election to the Presidency, and his own 
acceptance of nomination for the Vice-Presi- 
dency) are explained by the fact that he has 
from the start been a party man, not merely a 
believer in party government and a faithful 
party member, but a devout believer, appar- 
ently, in the dogma that the success of his party 
is essential to the welfare of the country." 

At that convention George William Cur- 
tis was also a delegate from New York. In 
a newspaper I picked up the other day were 
some reminiscences of the great fight by a 
newspaper man who was there. He told of 
meeting the famous Easy Chair at luncheon 
when the strife was fiercest. He expressed 
some surprise at the youth of Mr. Roosevelt, 
of whom the West then knew little. What 
followed sounds so like prophecy that I quote 
it here. The reporter wrote it down from mem- 

[68] 



EARLY LESSONS IN POLITICS 

ory that night, so he says, and by accident came 
across his notes, hence the item : 

Mr. Curtis moved his chair back from the table, 
threw his napkin beside his plate, and was silent for a 
few seconds. Then he said, in his quiet, modulated 
tones : 

"You'll know more, sir, later; a deal more, or I 
am much in error. Young? Why, he is just out of 
school almost, yet he is a force to be reckoned with 
in New York. Later the Nation will be criticising or 
praising him. While respectful to the gray hairs and 
experience of his elders, none of them can move him 
an iota from convictions as to men and measures once 
formed and rooted. He has integrity, courage, fair 
scholarship, a love for public life, a comfortable amount 
of money, honorable descent, the good word of the 
honest. He will not truckle nor cringe, he seems to 
court opposition to the point of being somewhat pug- 
nacious. His political life will probably be a turbu- 
lent one, but he will be a figure, not a figurehead, in 
future development — or, if not, it will be because 
he gives up politics altogether. ' , 

Such a verdict from such a man upon three 
years of the strife and sweat of very practical 
politics I should have thought worth all it cost, 
and I know so does Mr. Roosevelt. 



[69] 



IV 

THE HORSE AND THE GUN 
HAVE THEIR DAY 



IV 



THE HORSE AND THE GUN 
HAVE THEIR DAY 

PERHAPS no more striking description 
of a landscape was ever attempted than 
when Mr. Roosevelt said that in the 
Bad Lands he always felt as if they somehow 
looked just as Poe's tales and poems sound. 
It is with this as I said before: we sometimes 
forget the man of words in the man of deeds. 
Mr. Roosevelt's writings occasionally suffer 
from a lack of patience to edit and to polish, 
but they are always full of vigor and direct- 
ness; in other words, he is himself when he 
writes as when he talks ; and never more so than 
when he writes of the great West to which I 
often think he belongs more than to the East 
where he was born. His home ranch in western 
North Dakota was among the Bad Lands of 

[73] 



THEODORE ROOSEVELT 

the Little Missouri. To grasp fully the mean- 
ing of the comparison with Poe, read this from 
his account of an elk -hunting trip out there : 

" The tracks led into one of the wildest and 
most desolate parts of the Bad Lands. It was 
now the heat of the day, the brazen sun shining 
out in a cloudless sky and not the least breeze 
stirring. At the bottom of the valley, in the 
deep narrow bed of the winding watercourse, 
lay a few tepid little pools, almost dried up. 
Thick groves of stunted cedars stood here and 
there in the glen-like pockets of the high buttes, 
the peaks and sides of which were bare, and 
only their lower, terrace-like ledges thinly clad 
with coarse, withered grass and sprawling sage- 
brush ; the parched hillsides were riven by deep, 
twisted gorges, with brushwood on the bot- 
toms; and the cliffs of coarse clay were cleft 
and seamed by sheer-sided, canon-like gullies. 
In the narrow ravines, closed in by barren, sun- 
baked walls, the hot air stood still and sultry; 
the only living things were the rattlesnakes, 
and of these I have never elsewhere seen so 
many. Some basked in the sun, stretched out 
at their ugly length of mottled brown and yel- 
low. Others lay half under stones or twined 

[74] 



THE HORSE AND THE GUN 

in the roots of the sage-brush, and looked 
straight at me with that strange, sullen, evil 
gaze, never shifting or moving, that is the 
property only of serpents and of certain men; 
while one or two coiled and rattled menacingly 
as I stepped near." 

Fit setting, that kind of a landscape, for a 
man who had come out of the sort of fight he 
had just been in, and lost. Many of those who 
had fought with him went out of the Republi- 
can party and did not return. Roosevelt had 
it out with the bucking bronchos on his ranch 
and with the grizzlies in the mountains, and 
came back to fight in the ranks for the man 
he had opposed and to go down with him to 
defeat. He had come to the bitter waters of 
which men must drink to grow to their full 
stature — his most ambitious defeat, that of 
the Mayoralty campaign of 1886, was yet to 
come — and, according to his sturdy way, he 
looked the well through and through, and 
drank deep. 

There stands upon a shelf in my library a 
copy of the " Wilderness Hunter," which he 
gave me when once I was going to the woods. 
On the fly-leaf he wrote: " May you enjoy the 

[75] 



THEODORE ROOSEVELT 

north woods as much as I enjoyed the great 
plains and the Rockies." It was during that 
fall that I received the first news from him, up 
there in the Canadian wilderness, of the sad and 
terrible doings at Buffalo, when William 
McKinley was already in his grave. I read in 
that letter that had been waiting many days for 
our canoe to come down the lake, even though 
he wrote hopefully of the President's recovery ; 
that a shadow had fallen across his path, be- 
tween him and those youthful days, through 
which he would never cross again the same man. 
He was himself going away to the woods, he 
wrote, with the children. The doctors had as- 
sured him all was well. There was even a note 
of glad relief that the dreadful suspense was 
over. Yet with it all there was a something, 
undeflnable, that told me that the chase he loved 
so well, the free wild life of the plain, had lost 
one that understood them as few did; and the 
closing words of the preface of the book, on 
which the ink of his name was hardly yet dry, 
sounded to me like saddening prophecy: 

" No one but he who has partaken thereof 
can understand the keen delight of hunting in 
lonely lands. For him is the joy of the horse 

[76] 



THE HORSE AND THE GUN 

well ridden and the rifle well held ; for him the 
long days of toil and hardship, resolutely en- 
dured, and crowned at the end with triumph. 
In after years there shall come forever to his 
mind the memory of endless prairies shimmer- 
ing in the bright sun ; of vast snow-clad wastes 
lying desolate under gray skies ; of the melan- 
choly marshes; of the rush of mighty rivers; 
of the breath of the evergreen forest in sum- 
mer ; of the crooning of ice-armored pines at the 
touch of the winds of winter ; of cataracts roar- 
ing between hoary mountain masses ; of all the 
innumerable sights and sounds of the wilder- 
ness ; of its immensity and mystery ; and of the 
silences that brood in its still depths." 

So all things pass. To the careless youth 
succeeds the man of the grave responsibilities. 
He would not have it different, himself. But 
out there, there are men to-day who cannot 
forgive the White House for the loss of the 
ranch ; who camp nightly about forgotten fires 
with their lost friend, the hunter and ranch- 
man, Theodore Roosevelt. 

When the world was young he came among 
them and straightway took their hearts by 
storm, as did they his, men " hardy and self- 

[77] 



THEODORE ROOSEVELT 

reliant, with bronzed, set faces and keen eyes 
that look all the world straight in the face with- 
out flinching." I know how it is. You can- 
not help taking to them, those Western fel- 
lows, and they need not be cowboys either. 
The farther you go, the better you like them. 
My oldest son, who spent a year on a ranch, 
never wanted to come back. He was among 
Roosevelt's men, whose talk was still of his 
good-fellowship in camp and on the hunting 
trail, his unflinching courage, his even-handed 
justice that arraigned the sheriff of the county 
as stoutly before his fellows when he failed in 
his duty, as it led him in the bitter winter wea- 
ther on a month's hunt down-stream through 
the pack-ice after cattle thieves— a story that 
reads like the record of an Arctic expedition. 
But he got the thieves, and landed them in jail, 
much to the wonderment of the ranchman at 
Killdeer Mountains, who was unable to under- 
stand why all this fuss " instead of hanging 
them offhand." The vigilantes had just had 
a cleaning up in the cattle country, and had 
despatched some sixty-odd suspects, some of 
them, Mr. Roosevelt says, through misappre- 
hension or carelessness. One is reminded of 

[78] 



THE HORSE AND THE GUN 

the apology of the captain of such a band to 
the widow of a victim of their " carelessness "; 
" Madam, the joke is on us." 

Every land has its ways. They have theirs 
out there, and if they are sometimes a trifle 
hasty, life bowls along with them at a pace we 
do not easily catch up with. On his recent 
trip across the continent, the President was 
greeted in a distant State by one of his old 
men, temporarily out of his latitude. He ex- 
plained that he had had " a difficulty "; he had 
" sat into a poker game with a gentleman 
stranger," who raised a row. He used awful 
language, and he, the speaker, shot him down. 
He had to. 

"And did the stranger draw?" asked the 
President, who had been listening gravely. 

" He did not have time, sir." 

The affair with the sheriff sounds as though 
it were a chapter of Mulberry Street in his 
later years. It was the outcome of the struggle 
to put law and order in the place of the rude 
lynch justice of the frontier. There was rea- 
son to believe that the sheriff leaned toward 
the outlaws. Men talked of it in bar-rooms; 
the cattle-thieves escaped. A meeting was 

[79] 



THEODORE ROOSEVELT 

called of ranch-owners, the neighbors for half 
a hundred miles around, and in the meeting 
Mr. Roosevelt rose and confronted the sheriff 
squarely with the charges. He looked straight 
at him through his gold-rimmed eye-glasses, 
himself unarmed, while from the other's 
pockets stuck out the handles of two big six- 
shooters, and told him without mincing words 
that they believed the charges to be true and 
that he had forfeited their confidence and good 
will. A score of grave frontiersmen sat si- 
lently expectant of the reply. None came. 
The man made no defense. But he was not 
without sympathizers, and his reputation would 
have made most men think twice before beard- 
ing him as Roosevelt did. I asked him once 
why he did it. 

" There was no other way," he said, " and 
it had exactly the effect we desired. I do 
not think I was in any danger. I was unarmed, 
and if he had shot me down he knew he could 
not have escaped swift retribution. Besides, 
I was right, and he knew it! " 

How often since have I heard him weigh, 
with the most careful scrutiny of every argu- 
ment for and against, some matter to be de- 

[80] 



THE HORSE AND THE GUN 

cided in the public interest, and wind up with 
the brisk " There is no other way, and it is 
right; we will do it;" and heard his critics, 
who had given the matter no attention or the 
most superficial, and were taking no risks, cry 
out about snap judgments, while Roosevelt 
calmly went ahead and brought us through. 

Whether it was over this cattle matter or 
some other local concern that his misunder- 
standing with the Marquis de Mores arose, of 
which there have been so many versions, I have 
forgotten. It does not matter. In the nature 
of things it would have come sooner or later, 
on some pretext or another. The two were 
neighbors, their ranches being some ten or fif- 
teen miles apart. The Marquis was a gallant 
but exaggerated Frenchman, with odd feudal 
notions still clinging in his brain. He took it 
into his head to be offended by something 
Roosevelt was reported to have said, before he 
had yet met him, and wrote him a curt note 
telling him what he had heard and that " there 
was a way for gentlemen to settle their differ- 
ences," to which he invited his attention. Mr. 
Roosevelt promptly replied that he had heard 
a lie; that he, the Marquis, had no business to 

[81] 



THEODORE ROOSEVELT 

believe it true upon such evidence, and that he 
would follow his note in person within the hour. 
He despatched the letter to Medora, where the 
Marquis was, by one of his men, and, true to 
his word, started himself immediately after. 
Before he came in sight of the little cow-town 
he was met by a courier traveling in haste from 
the Marquis with a gentleman's apology and 
a cordial invitation to dine with him in town. 
And that was all there was of the sensational 
" duel " with the French nobleman. 

How small this world is, to be sure, that we 
make so much of I It was only yesterday that 
a woman whom I had never seen spoke to me 
on a Third Avenue street-car and told me that 
she had been in the house of the Marquis de 
Mores at that very time. She was with the 
family as a trained nurse, she told me. Of 
course she knew Roosevelt. " The cowboys 
loved him," she said, and added: " Poor Mar- 
quis, he was a nice gentleman, but he was not 
so level-headed a man as Mr. Roosevelt." 

The physical vigor for which he had longed 
and labored had come to him in full measure 
now, and with it the confidence that comes of 
being prepared to defend one's rights. The 



THE HORSE AND THE GUN 

bully and the brawler knew well enough that 
they had small chance against such an equip- 
ment, and kept out of the way. In all Mr. 
Roosevelt's life on the frontier, sometimes in 
unfamiliar towns keyed up to mischief, he was 
molested but once, and then by a drunken 
rowdy who took him for a tenderfoot and with 
a curse bade him treat, at the point of his two 
revolvers, enforcing the invitation with a lit- 
tle exhibition of " gun-play," while a roomful 
of men looked stolidly on. Roosevelt was a 
stranger in the town and had no friends there. 
He got up apparently to yield to the inevitable, 
practicing over mentally the while a famous 
left-hander that had done execution in the old 
Harvard days. The next instant the bully 
crashed against the wall and measured his 
length on the floor. His pistols went off 
harmlessly in the air. He opened his eyes to 
find the " four-eyed tenderfoot " standing over 
him, bristling with fight, while the crowd nod- 
ded calmly, " Served him right." He surren- 
dered then and there and gave up his guns, 
while Mr. Roosevelt went to bed unmolested. 
Such things carry far on the plains. No one 
was ever after that heard to express a wish to 

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THEODORE ROOSEVELT 

fill this tenderfoot " full of holes," even though 
he did wear gold spectacles and fringed angora 
" chaps " when on a hunt. 

And now that I have made use of my priv- 
ilege to put things in as I think of them, let 
me say that brawling was no part of his life in 
the West. I thought of it first partly because of 
some good people who imagine that there was 
nothing else on the frontier; partly because it 
was a test the frontier life put to a man, always 
does, that he shall not be afraid, seeing that in 
the last instance upon his personal fearlessness 
depends his fitness to exist where at any mo- 
ment that alone may preserve his life and the 
lives of others. There was room in plenty for 
that quality in the real business that brought 
him West, the quest of adventure. It was the 
dream of the man with the horse and the gun 
that was at last being realized. There was yet a 
frontier ; there were unknown wilds. The very 
country on the Little Missouri where he built 
his log house was almost untrodden to the 
north of him. Deer lay in the brush in the 
open glade where the house stood, and once 
he shot one from his door. The fencing in of 
cattle lands had not begun. The buffalo 

[84] 



THE HORSE AND THE GUN 

grazed yet in scattered bands in the mountain 
recesses far from beaten trails; the last great 
herd on the plains had been slaughtered, but 
five years later Mr. Roosevelt tracked an old 
bull and his family of cows and calves in the 
wilderness on the Wisdom River near where 
Idaho, Wyoming, and Montana come together. 
He trailed them all day and at last came upon 
them in a glade shut in by dark pines. As 
he gazed upon the huge, shaggy beasts, behind 
which towered the mountains, their crests crim- 
soned by the sinking sun, there mingled with 
the excitement of the hunter a " half -melan- 
choly feeling at the thought that they were the 
last remnant of a doomed and nearly vanished 
race." It did not prevent him, however, from 
eating the grilled meat of the old bull that 
night at the camp-fire, with a hungry hunter's 
relish. The great head of the mighty beast 
hangs over the fire-place at Sagamore Hill, 
an object of shuddering awe to the little ones. 
None of them will in their day ever bring home 
such a trophy from the hunt. 

I looked past it into the room where the piano 
stands, the other day, and saw two of them 
there, Ethel giving Archie, with the bewitching 

[85] 



THEODORE ROOSEVELT 

bangs and the bare brown boyish legs, his music 
lesson. One groping foot— for the lesson 
would n't come— dangled within reach of the 
ugliest grizzly's head a distorted fancy could 
conceive of. I know it, for I stumble over it 
regularly when I come there, until I have got 
it charted for that particular trip. The skin 
to which it is attached is one Mr. Roosevelt sets 
great store by. It is a memento of the most 
thrilling moment of his life, when he was hunt- 
ing alone in the foothills of the Rockies. He 
had made his camp " by the side of a small, 
noisy brook with crystal water," and had 
strolled off with his rifle to see if he could pick 
up a grouse for supper, when he came upon the 
grizzly and wounded it. It took refuge in a 
laurel thicket, where Roosevelt laid siege to 
it. While he was cautiously skirting the edge, 
peering in, in the gathering dusk, the bear 
suddenly came out on the hillside: " Scarlet 
strings of froth hung from his lips; his eyes 
burned like embers in the gloom." 

Roosevelt fired, and the bullet shattered the 
point of the grizzly's heart. " Instantly the 
great bear turned with a harsh roar of fury 
and challenge, blowing the bloody foam from 

[86] 



THE HORSE AND THE GUN 

his mouth, so that I saw the gleam of his white 
fangs; and then he charged straight at me, 
crashing and bounding through the laurel 
bushes, so that it was hard to aim. I waited 
until he came to a fallen tree, raking him as 
he topped it with a ball which entered his chest 
and went through the cavity of his body, but 
he neither swerved nor flinched, and at the 
moment I did not know that I had struck him. 
He came steadily on, and in another second 
was almost upon me. I fired for his forehead, 
but my bullet went low, entering his open 
mouth, smashing his lower jaw, and going into 
his neck. I leaped to one side almost as I 
pulled the trigger, and through the hanging 
smoke the first thing I saw was his paw as he 
made a vicious side blow at me. The rush of his 
charge carried him past. As he struck, he 
lurched forward, leaving a pool of bright blood 
where his muzzle hit the ground; but he re- 
covered himself, and made two or three jumps 
onwards, while I hurriedly jammed a couple of 
cartridges into the magazine — my rifle holding 
only four, all of which I had fired. Then he 
tried to pull up, but as he did so his muscles 
seemed suddenly to give way, his head drooped, 

[87] 



THEODORE ROOSEVELT 

and he rolled over and over like a shot rabbit. 
Each of my first three bullets had inflicted a 
mortal wound." 

That was hunting of the kind that calls for a 
stout heart. When I think of it, there comes 
to me by contrast the echo of the laugh we had, 
when he lay with his Rough-Riders at Mon- 
tauk Point, over my one unlucky experience 
with a " silver-tip." I have a letter yet, dated 
Camp Wikoff, Montauk, September 9, 1898, 
in which he has scribbled after the business on 
hand, an added note: "Good luck on your 
hunt! Death to grizzly-bear cubs." I can 
hear his laugh now. I am not a mighty hunter, 
but I know a bear when I see it— at least so I 
thought— and when, wandering in the forest 
primeval, far from camp, with only a fowling- 
piece, I beheld a movement in the top of a big 
pine, I had no difficulty in making out a bear- 
cub there with the last rays of the sun silvering 
the tip of its brief tail— a " silver-tip " then; 
and likewise my knowledge of the world in 
general, if not of wood-craft, told me that 
where the cub was the mamma bear would not 
be far away. It was therefore, I insist, proof 
of fearless courage that I deliberately shot 

[88] 



THE HORSE AND THE GUN 

down the cub with one of my two No. 12 car- 
tridges, even if I made great haste to pick it 
up and carry it away before Madam Bruin 
should appear. It is all right to be bold, but 
when it comes to maddened she-bears — I 
made a wild grab for my cub, and had my hand 
impaled upon a hundred porcupine quills. It 
was that kind of a cub. It is well enough to 
laugh, but it took me a little while before I 
could join in, with all those quills sticking in 
my fist, just like so many barbed fish-hooks. 

I remember we shot together once at the 
range, and that I made nearly as good a score 
as he. It was in the beginning of our ac- 
quaintance, when I had been staying at Saga- 
more Hill and the question was put by Mrs. 
Roosevelt at the breakfast-table whether I 
would rather go driving with her or " go with 
Theodore on the range." And I remember 
the perfidious smile with which he repeated the 
question, as if he should be so glad to have me 
go driving when he really wanted to try the 
new rifle on the range. He cannot dissemble 
worth a cent, and Mrs. Roosevelt laughed and 
sent us away, to my great relief; for going 
driving with her is a privilege one might well 

r 89 1 



THEODORE ROOSEVELT 

be proud of, and I— well, we had looked at 
the rifle together the night before. Really, 
it is no use for me to try, either. 

But about the score ; that was shooting at a 
target. Hitting a running animal is a differ- 
ent story, as I know to my sorrow. Though 
Mr. Roosevelt is near-sighted and wears 
glasses, and though his hand, he says himself, 
is none too steady, yet he has acquired a very 
formidable reputation as a hunter, and this, 
he adds with characteristic touch, because he 
has " hunted very perseveringly, and by much 
practice has learned to shoot about as well at 
a wild animal as at a target." It is the story 
of everything he undertook: his opportunities 
were in nothing unusually great, except in his 
marvelous mastery over his own mind, his rare 
faculty of concentration; sometimes he was at 
a clear disadvantage, as in the matter of physi- 
cal strength and promise at the outset; yet he 
won by sheer perseverance. He has killed in 
his day every kind of large game to be found 
on the North American continent. 

The " horse and the gun " were having their 
day. And while he hunted, with the instinct 
of the naturalist, who lets nothing escape that 

[90] 




w.: .-~ 



THEODORE ROOSEVELT JUMPING HURDLES AT 
CHEVY CHASE CLUB, WASHINGTON 

COPYRIGHT 1902 BY CLIXEDIXST 



THE HORSE AND THE GUN 

can contribute to our knowledge of the world 
about us, he made notes of the habits and habi- 
tats of the game he hunted. His hunting- 
books have been extensively quoted by the sci- 
entific periodicals. Which brings to my mind 
another Presidential sportsman who occasion- 
ally makes notes of his exploits with the rod. 
He will forgive me for telling of it, for never 
did man draw a clearer picture of himself than 
did Mr. Cleveland when over the dinner-table 
in a friend's house he told the story of the egg 
the neighbor's hen laid in his yard. We had 
been discussing the way of conscience — whe- 
ther it was born in men, or whether it grew, and 
he supported his belief that it was born with 
the child by telling of how when he was a little 
chap the hen made the mistake aforesaid. 

" I could n't have been over five or six at 
most," said Mr. Cleveland, " but I remember 
the awful row I made until they brought back 
that egg to the side of the fence where it be- 
longed." 

That was Grover Cleveland, sure enough. 
My own conscience suffered twinges he knew 
not of during the recital, for I also had an egg 
to my account, but on the other side of the 

[91] 



THEODORE ROOSEVELT 

ledger, though it was never laid. I remem- 
bered well the half of an idle forenoon I spent, 
when I was nearer fifteen than five, treacher- 
ously trying to decoy my neighbor's hen across 
the fence to lay her egg in my yard. The door- 
knob I polished a most alluring white and hid 
in some hay for a nest-egg, and the trail of 
corn I made— they all rose up and spurned me. 
Who says the world is not getting better? 
Look upon this picture and upon that. No one 
would ever think of making me President. 
And when I thought of Mr. Roosevelt's proba- 
ble action with the hen cackling on his side of 
the fence, who can doubt that he would return 
the egg with a stern reprimand to its owner 
not to lead his neighbor into temptation again? 
Mr. Cleveland might have registered the 
weight of the egg before returning it ; the fish- 
erman would not be denied. Mr. Roosevelt, 
had the hen been a wild fowl, would have taken 
note of its plumage and its futile habit of hid- 
ing its nest from mankind, even righteous 
mankind. 

A cat may look at a king. One may have a 
joke even with a President. I know they won't 
mind. They are two men alike in the best 

[92] 



THE HORSE AND THE GUN 

there is in man, sturdy, courageous, splendid 
types of American manhood, however they dif- 
fer. And though they do differ, Cleveland 
gave Roosevelt his strongest backing in the 
civil service fight, while the younger man holds 
the ex-President, even though his political op- 
ponent, in the real regard in which one true 
man holds another. And I who write this have 
had the good luck to vote for them both. The 
Republic is all right. 

But I was speaking just now of the western 
land he loved; whether in the spring, when 
" the flowers are out and a man may gallop 
for miles at a stretch with his horse's hoofs 
sinking at every stride into the carpet of prai- 
rie roses, . . . and where even in the waste 
places the cactuses are blooming, . . . their 
mass of splendid crimson flowers glowing 
against the sides of the gray buttes like a splash 
of flame"; when "the thickets and groves 
about the ranch house are loud with bird 
music from before dawn till long after sunrise 
and all through the night " ; or in the hot noon- 
tide hours of midsummer, when the parched 
land lies shimmering in the sunlight and " from 
the upper branches of the cottonwoods comes 

[93] 



THEODORE ROOSEVELT 

every now and then the soft, melancholy coo- 
ing of the mourning dove, whose voice always 
seems far away and expresses more than any 
other sound in nature the sadness of gentle, 
hopeless, never-ending grief. The other birds 
are still. . . . Now and then the black shadow 
of a wheeling vulture falls on the sun-scorched 
ground; the cattle that have strung down in 
long files from the hills lie quietly on the sand- 
bars." Whether in the bright moonlight that 
" turns the gray buttes into glimmering silver, 
the higher cliffs standing out in weird gro- 
tesqueness while the deep gorges slumber in 
the black shadows, the echoing hoof -beats of 
the horses and the steady metallic clank of the 
steel bridle-chains the only sounds "; or when 
the gales that blow out of the north have 
wrapped the earth in a mantle of death; when 
" in the still, merciless, terrible cold ... all 
the land is like granite; the great rivers stand 
in their beds as if turned to frosted steel. In 
the long nights there is no sound to break the 
lifeless silence. Under the ceaseless, shifting 
play of the Northern Lights the snow-clad 
plains stretch out into dead and endless wastes 
of glimmering white." 

[94] 



THE HORSE AND THE GUN 

So he saw it, and so he loved it ; loved it when 
the work was hard and dangerous ; when on the 
ranchman's occasional holiday he lay stretched 
before the blazing log-fire reading Shake- 
speare to the cowboys and eliciting the patro- 
nizing comment from one who followed bron- 
cho-busting as a trade, that " that 'ere feller 
Shakespeare saveyed human nature some." 
Loved the land and loved its people, as they 
loved him, a man among men. He has drawn 
a picture of them in his " Ranch Life and the 
Hunting Trail," from which I have quoted, 
that will stand as a monument to them in the 
days that are to come when they shall be no 
more. In that day we will value, too, the book, 
as a marvelous picture of a vanished day. 

" To appreciate properly his fine, manly 
qualities, the wild rough-rider of the plains 
should be seen in his own home. There he 
passes his days; there he does his life-work; 
there, when he meets death, he faces it as he 
faces many other evils, with quiet, uncom- 
plaining fortitude. Brave, hospitable, hardy 
and adventurous, he is the grim pioneer of our 
race; he prepares the way for the civilization 
from before whose face he must himself dis- 

[95] 



THEODORE ROOSEVELT 

appear. Hard and dangerous though his ex- 
istence is, it has yet a wild attraction that 
strongly draws to it his bold, free spirit. He 
lives in the lonely land where mighty rivers 
twist in long reaches between the barren bluffs ; 
where the prairies stretch out into billowy 
plains of waving grass, girt only by the blue 
horizon — plains across whose endless breadth 
he can steer his course for days and weeks, and 
see neither man to speak to nor hill to break 
the level; where the glory and the burning 
splendor of the sunsets kindle the blue vault 
of heaven and the level brown earth till they 
merge together in an ocean of flaming fire." 

Working there, resting there, growing there, 
in that wonderland under the spell of which 
these words of his were written, there came to 
him, unheralded, the trumpet call to another 
life, to duty. Over the camp-fire he read in a 
newspaper sent on from New York that by 
a convention of independent citizens he had 
been chosen as their standard-bearer in the 
fight for the mayoralty, then impending. They 
needed a leader. And that night he hung up 
the rifle, packed his trunk, and, bidding his 
life on the plains good-by, started for the East. 

[96] 



V 
THE FAIR PLAY DEPARTMENT 



V 
THE FAIR PLAY DEPARTMENT 

THE citizens had picked Roosevelt be- 
cause they needed a young man with 
fighting grit, a man with a name to 
trust, a Republican who was not afraid — of 
the machine for one thing. The machine took 
him because there was nothing else left for it 
to do, and it did that. The thing has happened 
since: evidence that there is life in our theorv 
and practice of government. When such 
things cease to happen, popular government 
will not be much more than a name. The ma- 
chine is useful— indeed, it is indispensable— as 
a thing to be run for a purpose. When the 
purpose becomes merely the running of the 
machine, however perfect that, the soul is gone 
out of it. And without a soul a man or a party 
is dead. 

[99] 



THEODORE ROOSEVELT 

Something had occurred in New York fit 
almost to wake the dead. Henry George had 
been nominated for Mayor, and the world that 
owned houses and lands and stocks was in a 
panic. The town was going to be sacked, at 
the very least. And, in wild dread of the dis- 
aster that was coming, men forsook party, 
principles, everything, and threw themselves 
into the arms of Tammany, as babies run in 
fear of the bogy man and hide their heads in 
their mother's lap. Nice mother, Tammany! 
—even with Abram S. Hewitt as its candi- 
date. He lived to subscribe to that statement. 
I have sometimes wondered what the town 
thought of itself when it came to, and con- 
sidered Henry George as he really was. I 
know what Roosevelt thought of it. He 
laughed, rather contemptuously, married, and 
went abroad, glad of his holiday. 

But he had contributed something to that 
campaign that had life in it. Long years after 
it bore fruit ; but at that time I suppose people 
shrugged their shoulders at it, and ran on to 
their haven of refuge. It was just two para- 
graphs in his letter of acceptance to the Com- 
mittee of One Hundred, the briefest of that 
kind of documents I ever saw. 

[100 1 



THE FAIR PLAY DEPARTMENT 

" The worst evils that affect our local gov- 
ernment," he wrote to R. Fulton Cutting and 
his colleagues (even the names sound as if it 
were yesterday, not nearly twenty years ago), 
" arise from and are the inevitable results of the 
mixing up of city affairs with the party poli- 
tics of the Xation and of the State. The lines 
upon which Xational parties divide have no 
necessary connection with the business of the 
city; . . . such connection opens the way to 
countless schemes of public plunder and civic 
corruption. I very earnestly deprecate all at- 
tempts to introduce any class or caste feeling 
into the mayoralty contest. Laborers and cap- 
italists alike are interested in having an honest 
and economical city government, and if elected 
I shall certainly strive to be the representative 
of all good citizens, paying heed to nothing 
whatever but the general well-being." 

He was not elected, as I said. We were not 
yet grown to that. X on-partisan ship in mu- 
nicipal politics was a poet's dream, nice but so 
unsubstantial. It came true all the same in 
time, and it will stay true when we have dozed 
off a few times more and been roused up 
with the Tammany nightmare astride of us. 
Maybe then my other dream will come true, 

noi i 



THEODORE ROOSEVELT 

too. It is my own, and I have never told even 
him of it ; but I have seen stranger things hap- 
pen. It is this, that Theodore Roosevelt shall 
sit in the City Hall in New York as Mayor of 
his own city, after he has done his work in 
Washington. That would be an object-lesson 
worth while, one we need and that would show 
all the world what democracy really means. I 
shall never be satisfied till I see it. That year I 
would write the last chapter of my " battle with 
the slum," and in truth it would be over. For 
that which really makes the slum is not the 
foul tenement, not the pestilent alley, not the 
want and ignorance they stand for; but the 
other, the killing ignorance that sits in ease and 
plenty and knows not that it is the brother 
who suffers, and that, in one way or other, he 
must suffer with him unless he will suffer for 
him. Of that there must be an end. Roosevelt 
in the City Hall could mean only that. 

Witness his plea in the letter I quoted: 
" Laborers and capitalists alike are interested.' ' 
Of course they are, or our country goes to the 
dogs. In that day we shall see it, all of us. He 
saw it always. When I hear any one say that 
Roosevelt is doing this, or saying that, for ef- 

[102] 



THE FAIR PLAY DEPARTMENT 

feet, I know I have to do with a man who 
does not read or reason; or he would have 
made out how straight has been his course from 
the beginning. What he said then to the 
electors of New York, he did as President 
when he appointed the Coal Strike Commis- 
sion, when he blocked the way of illegal trust 
combinations, and when he killed the power 
of " pull " in the Police Department and kept 
the peace of the city. He said it again the 
other day in his Labor Day speech at Syracuse. 

" They will say, most likely, that it is made 
up of platitudes," he told me when he had fin- 
ished it, referring to his newspaper critics; 
" and so I suppose it is. Only they need to be 
said just here and now." 

They did need to. The Ten Command- 
ments are platitudes, I expect ; certainly they 
have been repeated often enough. And yet 
even the critics will hardly claim that we have 
had enough of them. I noticed, by the way, 
that they were dumb for once. Perhaps it oc- 
curred to them that it took a kind of courage 
to insist, as he did, on the elementary virtues in 
the dealings of man with man as the basis of all 
human fellowship, against which their shafts 

[103] 



THEODORE ROOSEVELT 

fell powerless. If so, it did more credit to 
their discernment than I expected ever to have 
to accord them. 

Two years of travel and writing, of work- 
ing at the desk and, in between, on the ranch, 
where the cowboys hailed him joyously; of 
hunting and play which most people would 
have called hard work; years during which his 
' Winning of the West " took shape and grew 
into his great work. Then, in the third, Wash- 
ington and the Civil Service Commission. 

I suppose there is scarcely one who knows 
anything of Theodore Roosevelt who has not 
got the fact of his being once a Civil Service 
Commissioner fixed in his mind. That was 
where the country got its eye upon him; and 
that, likewise, was where some good people 
grew the notion that he was a scrapper first, 
last, and all the time, with but little regard for 
whom he tackled, so long as he had him. There 
was some truth in that ; we shall see how much. 
But as to civil service reform, I have some- 
times wondered how many there were who knew 
as little what it really meant as I did until 
not so very long ago. How many went about 
with a more or less vague notion that it was 

[104] 



THE FAIR PLAY DEPARTMENT 

some kind of a club to knock out spoils politics 
with, good for the purpose and necessary, but 
in the last analysis an alien kind of growth, of 
aristocratic tendency, to set men apart in classes. 
Instead of exactly the reverse, right down on 
the hard pan of the real and only democracy: 
every man on his merits ; what he is, not what he 
has ; what he can do, not what his pull can do for 
him. And do you know what first shocked me 
into finding out the truth? I have to own it, 
if it does make me blush for myself. It was 
when I saw a report Roosevelt had made on 
political blackmail in the New York Custom- 
House. That was what he called it, and it was 
meaner than the meanest, he added, because 
it hit hardest the employees who did n't stand 
politically with the party in power and were 
afraid to say so lest they lose their places. 
Three per cent, of his salary, to a clerk just 
able to get along, might mean " the difference 
between having and not having a winter coat 
for himself, a warm dress for his wife, or a 
Christmas-tree for his children— a piece of 
cruel injustice and iniquity." It was the 
Christmas-tree that settled it with me. The 
rest was bad, but I could n't allow that. Not 

[105] 



THEODORE ROOSEVELT 

with my Danish pedigree of blessed Christmas- 
trees reaching 'way back into the day of frocks 
and rag dolls, and my own children's tree to re- 
mind me of it — never! 

So I overcame my repugnance to schedules 
and tables and examinations, and got behind 
it all to an understanding of what it really 
meant. And there I found the true view of 
this champion of civil service reform as I might 
have expected; fighting the spoilsman, yes! 
dragging the sting from his kind of politics; 
hitting him blow after blow, and with the whole 
pack of politicians, I came near saying good 
and bad together, in front hitting back for very 
life. That was there, all of it. But this other 
was there too: the man who was determined 
that the fellow w r ith no pull should have an even 
chance with his rival who came backed; that 
the farmer's lad and the mechanic's son who 
had no one to speak for them should have the 
same show in competing for the public service 
as the son of wealth and social prestige. That 
was really what civil service reform meant to 
Roosevelt. The other was good, but this was 
the kernel of it, and the kernel was sound. It 
was, as he said in his first Presidential mes- 

[106] 



THE FAIR PLAY DEPARTMENT 

sage, " as democratic and American as the com- 
mon-school system itself." 

And as for the country's end of it : " This is 
my rule," said he, speaking of it at the time: 
" if I am in such doubt about an applicant's 
character and fitness for office as would lead me 
not to put my private affairs in his hands, then 
I shall not put public affairs in his hands." 
Simple and plain enough, is it not? 

For all that they called it a " first-class 
trouble job " and the wise, or those who thought 
they were wise, laughed in their sleeves when 
Roosevelt tackled it. For at last they had him 
where he would be killed off sure, this bump- 
tious young man who had got in the way of the 
established order in everything. And they 
wished him luck. President Harrison was in 
the White House, well disposed, but not ex- 
actly a sympathetic court of appeals for a 
pleader like Roosevelt. In fact, he would have 
removed him within a year or two of his ap- 
pointment for daring to lay down the law to 
a Cabinet officer, had it been expedient. It 
was not expedient; by that time Theodore 
Roosevelt had made his own court of appeals 
—the country and public opinion. 

F107 1 



THEODORE ROOSEVELT 

Contrary to the general belief, Roosevelt 
was never President of the Civil Service Com- 
mission, though I am strongly inclined to think 
that where he sat was the head of the table. 
Until he came the Board had been in hard 
luck. Unpopular everywhere, it had tried the 
ostrich game of hiding its head, hoping so to 
escape observation and the onset of its enemies. 
Things took a sudden turn with Roosevelt in 
the Board. He was there to do a work he thor- 
oughly believed in, that was one thing. In the 
Legislature of New York he had forced 
through a civil service law that was substan- 
tially the same as he was here set to enforce; 
hence he knew. And when a man knows a 
thing and believes in it, and it is the right thing 
to do anyway, truly " thrice armed is he." 
The enemies of the cause found it out quickly. 
For every time they struck, the Commission hit 
back twice. Nor was the new Commissioner 
very particular where he hit, so long as the 
blow told. " The spectacle," wrote Edward 
Cary in reviewing his work when it was done, 
"of a man holding a minor and rather non- 
descript office, politically unimportant, taking 
a Cabinet officer by the neck and exposing him 

[108] 



THE FAIR PLAY DEPARTMENT 

to the amused contempt of all honest Ameri- 
cans, was what the late Horace Greeley would 
have called ' mighty interesting.' It was also 
very instructive." 

It was that. The whole country took an in- 
terest in the show. Politics woke right up and 
got the ear of the White House. Mr. Roose- 
velt respectfully but firmly refused to back 
down. He was doing his sworn duty in en- 
forcing the law. That was what he was there 
for. He urged his reform measures once, 
twice, three times, then went to the people, 
telling them all about it. The measures went 
through. Surveying the clamoring crowd that 
railed at him and his work, he flung this chal- 
lenge to them in an address in the Madison 
Street Theater in Chicago in March, 1890, the 
year after he was appointed: 

" Every ward heeler who now ekes out a mis- 
erable existence at the expense of office-holders 
and candidates is opposed to our policy, and 
we are proud to acknowledge it. Every poli- 
tician who sees nothing but reward of office 
in the success of a party or a principle is op- 
posed to us, and we are not sorry for it. . . . 
We propose to keep a man in office as long as 

[109] 



THEODORE ROOSEVELT 

he serves the public faithfully and courteously. 
. . . We propose that no incumbent shall be 
dismissed from the service unless he proves un- 
trustworthy or incompetent, and that no one 
not specially qualified for the duties of the po- 
sition shall be appointed. These two state- 
ments we consider eminently practical and 
American in principle." 

Again, a year later, when the well-worn lies 
that still pass current in certain newspapers 
had got into the Senate, this was his answer : 

" One of the chief false accusations which 
are thrown at the Commission is that we test 
applicants by puzzling questions. There is a 
certain order of intellect— sometimes an order 
of Senatorial intellect— which thinks it funny 
to state that a first-class young man, thor- 
oughly qualified in every respect, has been 
rejected for the position of letter-carrier be- 
cause he was unable to tell the distance from 
Hongkong to the mouth of the Yangtsekiang, 
or answer questions of similar nature. 

" I now go through a rather dreary, monot- 
onous illustration of how this idea becomes 
current. A Senator, for instance, makes state- 
ments of that character. I then write to him, 

[110] 



THE FAIR PLAY DEPARTMENT 

and ask him his foundation for such an asser- 
tion. Presumably, he never receives my letter, 
for he never answers it. I write him again, 
with no better results. I then publish a contra- 
diction in the newspapers. Then some enter- 
prising correspondent interviews him, and he 
states the question is true, but it is below his 
dignity to reply to Mr. Roosevelt. As a matter 
of fact, he either does know or ought to know 
that no such question has ever been asked." 

I wonder now, does any one of the editors 
who loudly wail over the " weak surrender " 
of the President, these days, to malign forces 
of their imagination, really believe that of the 
man who single-handed bade defiance to the 
whole executive force of the Government, 
when the knowledge that he was right was his 
only weapon; or is it just buncombe like the 
Senator's dignity? 

And yet, on the other hand, when he had to 
do with a different element, honest but not yet 
persuaded, note the change from blow to argu- 
ment. I quote from a speech he made to a club 
of business men in the thick of the fight: 

' We hear much of the question whether 
the Government should take control of the 

[in] 



THEODORE ROOSEVELT 

telegraph lines and railways of the country. 
Before that question can be so much as dis- 
cussed, it ought to be definitely settled that, 
if the Government takes control of either tele- 
graph line or railway, it must do it to manage it 
purely as a business undertaking, and must 
manage it with a service wholly unconnected 
with politics. I should like to call the special 
attention of the gentlemen in bodies interested 
in increasing the sphere of State action— in- 
terested in giving the State control more and 
more over railways, over telegraph lines, and 
over other things of the sort— to the fact that 
the condition precedent upon success is to es- 
tablish an absolutely non-partisan govern- 
mental system. When that point is once set- 
tled, we can discuss the advisability of doing 
what these gentlemen wish, but not before." 

Single-handed, I said. At least we heard 
from him only in those days. But afterward 
there came to join him on the Commission a 
Kentuckian, an old Confederate veteran, a 
Democrat, and withal as fine a fellow as ever 
drew breath— John R. Procter— and the two 
struck hands in a friendship that was for 
life. 

[112] 



THE FAIR PLAY DEPARTMENT 

" Every day," said Mr. Procter as we lay 
in the grass up in the Berkshires last summer 
and looked out over the peaceful valley, " every 
day I went to the office as to an entertainment. 
•I knew something was sure to turn up to make 
our work worth while, with him there. When 
he went away, I had heart in it no longer." 

The thing that turned up at regular inter- 
vals was an investigation by Congress. Some- 
times it was charges of one kind or another; 
sometimes the weapon was ridicule; always at 
the bottom the purpose was the same: to get 
rid of this impudent thing that was interposing 
itself between the legislator and the patronage 
that had been to him the sinews of war till then, 
costly sinews as he often enough had found 
out, but still the only ones he knew how to use. 
Mr. Roosevelt met every attack with his un- 
varying policy of candor ; blow for blow where 
that was needed; at other times with tact so 
finished, a shrewdness of diplomacy at which 
the enemy stared in helpless rage. For the 
country was visibly falling in behind this 
wholesome, good-humored fighter. I remember 
yet with amusement the " withering charge," 
as he called it, which one of the Washington 

[113] 



THEODORE ROOSEVELT 

papers brought against him. It published 
one of his letters in facsimile and asked scorn- 
fully if this man could pass an examination in 
penmanship for the desk of a third-rate clerk 
in his own office; yet he sat in judgment on the 
handwriting of aspirants. Now, I have always 
thought Mr. Roosevelt's handwriting fine. It 
is n't ornate. Indeed, it might be called very 
plain, extra plain, if you like. But his char- 
acter is all over it : a child could read it. There 
can never be any doubt as to what he means, 
and that, it seems to me, is what you want 
of a man's writing. Here is a line of it now 
which I quoted before, still lying on my table. 
Squeezed in between lines of typewriting it is 
not a fair sample, but take it as it is: 

I haven't heard a word about it from my superior officers, who have, 
the complete say-so. 






/ Cordially yours, 



-*^*^< 






However, Roosevelt made no bones about it. 
He owned up that he could n't pass for a clerk- 
ship, which was well, he said, for he would have 
made but a poor clerk, while he thought he 

[114] 



THE FAIR PLAY DEPARTMENT 

could make a good Commissioner. " And," 
he added, " there it is. Under our system of 
civil service examinations I could n't get in, 
whereas under the old spoils system you ad- 
vocate I would have had pull enough to get 
the appointment to the clerkship I was n't fit 
for. Don't you see? " 

I presume the editor saw, for nothing more 
was said about it. 

In the hottest of the fighting, Mr. Roosevelt 
executed a flank movement of such consum- 
mate strategic skill and shrewdness that it 
fairly won him the battle. He ordered exami- 
nations for department positions at Washing- 
ton to be held in the States, not at the Capital. 
When the successful candidates came to take 
the places they had won — when Congressman 
Smith met a young fellow from his county 
whom he knew in Washington, holding office 
under an administration hostile in politics as 
he knew, a great light dawned upon him. He 
felt the fetters of patronage, that had proved a 
heavier and heavier burden to him, falling from 
his own limbs, and from among the Congress- 
men who had hotly opposed Roosevelt came 
some of the warmest advocates of the new 

[115] 



THEODORE ROOSEVELT 

salvation. The policy of fairness, of perfect 
openness, had won. But it was a fight, sure 
enough. Mr. Roosevelt's literary labors in 
the cause alone were immense. Besides the six 
annual reports of the Commission during his 
incumbency — the sixth to the eleventh, inclu- 
sive—which were written largely by him, his 
essays and papers in defense of the reform cov- 
ered a range that would give a clerk, I was told 
at the Congressional Library, a good week's 
work if he were to make anything like a com- 
plete list of them. 

There never yet was a perfect law, and the 
civil service law was no exception. It did not 
put saints in office. It gave men a fair show, 
helped kill political blackmail, and kept some 
scoundrels out. Sometimes, too, it kept the 
best man out; for no system of examination 
can be devised to make sure he gets in. Roose- 
velt was never a stickler for the letter of any- 
thing. I know that perhaps better than any- 
body. If I were to tell how many times we 
have sat down together to devise a way of get- 
ting through the formal husk, even at the risk 
of bruising it some, to get at the kernel, the 
spirit of justice that is the soul of every law, 

[116] 



THE FAIR PLAY DEPARTMENT 

however undeveloped, I might frighten some 
good people needlessly. I think likely it was 
the recognition of this quality in the man, the 
entire absence of pedantry in his advocacy of 
the reform, that won the people over to him as 
much as anything. Some good stories are told 
about that, but perhaps one he told himself 
of his experience as a regimental commander 
in the Spanish war sheds more light on that 
side of him than anything else. He had a man 
in his regiment, a child of the frontier, in 
whom dwelt the soul of a soldier— in war, not 
in peace. By no process of reasoning or dis- 
cipline could he be persuaded to obey the camp 
regulations, while the regiment lay at San An- 
tonio, and at last he was court-martialed, sen- 
tenced to six months' imprisonment — a tech- 
nical sentence, for there was no jail to put him 
in. The prison was another Rough-Rider fol- 
lowing him around with a rifle to keep him in 
bounds. Then came the call to Cuba, and the 
Colonel planned to leave him behind as useless 
baggage. When the man heard of it, his soul 
was stirred to its depths. He came and pleaded 
as a child to be taken along. He would always 
be good; never again could he show up in Kan- 

[117] 



THEODORE ROOSEVELT 

sas if the regiment went to the war without 
him. At sight of his real agony Mr. Roose- 
velt's heart relented. 

" All right," he said. " You deserve to be 
shot as much as anybody. You shall go." And 
he went, flowing over with gratitude, to prove 
himself in the field as good a man as his prison 
of j^ore who fought beside him. 

Then came the mustering out. When the 
last man was checked off and accounted for, 
the War Department official, quartermaster 
or general or something, fumbled with his 
papers. 

" Where is the prisoner? " he asked. 

" The prisoner? " echoed Colonel Roosevelt; 
" what prisoner? " 

" Why, the man who got six months at a 
court-martial." 

" Oh, he! He is all right. I remitted his 
sentence." 

The official looked the Colonel over curi- 
ously. 

" You remitted his sentence," he said. " Sen- 
tenced by a court-martial, approved by the 
commanding general, you remitted his sen- 
tence. Well, you Ve got nerve." 

[118] 



THE FAIR PLAY DEPARTMENT 

Perhaps the Civil Service Commissioner's 
" nerve " had something to do with winning his 
fight. I like to think it had. With that added, 
one could almost feel like hugging civil ser- 
vice reform. 

One phase of this "Six Years' War " I can- 
not pass by, since it may serve as a chart to 
some inquiring minds much troubled to find 
out where the President will stand in matters 
of recent notoriety. They may give up their 
still-hunt for information and assume with per- 
fect confidence that he will stand where he al- 
ways has stood, on the square platform of fair 
dealing between man and man. Here is the 
letter that made me think of it. It was written 
to the Chairman of the Committee on Reform 
in the Civil Service of the Fifty-third Con- 
gress, in the spring of 1894, the year before he 
left the Commission: 

Congressman Williams, of Mississippi, attacked the 
Commission in substance because under the Commis- 
sion white men and men of color are treated with ex- 
act impartiality. A> to this, I have to say that so 
long as the present Commissioners continue their of- 
ficial existence they will not make, and, so far as in 
their power lies, will refuse to allow others to make, 
any discrimination whatsoever for or against any man 

[119] 



THEODORE ROOSEVELT 

because of his color, any more than because of his 
politics or religion. We do equal and exact justice 
to all, and I challenge Mr. Williams or any one else to 
show a single instance where the Commission has failed 
to do this. Mr. Williams specified the Railway Mail 
Service in Missouri as being one in which negroes are 
employed. The books of the Railway Mail Service for 
the division including South Carolina, Florida, Georgia, 
Alabama, and Mississippi were shown me yesterday, 
and according to these books about three-fourths of 
the employees are white and one-fourth colored. Under 
the last administration it was made a reproach to us 
that we did full and entire justice to the Southern 
Democrats, and that through our examinations many 
hundreds of them entered the classified service, although 
under a Republican administration. Exactly in the 
same way, it is now made a reproach to us that under 
our examinations honest and capable colored men are 
given an even chance with honest and capable white 
men. I esteem this reproach a high compliment to 
the Commission, for it is an admission that the Com- 
mission has rigidly done its duty as required by law 
without regard to politics or religion and without re- 
gard to color. Very respectfully, 

Theodore Roosevelt. 

" You cannot change him unless you con- 
vince him," said Mr. Procter to me, as we got 
up to go down into the valley, whence the gray 
evening shadows were reaching up toward us. 

[120] 




THEODORE ROOSEVELT 

FROM THE PORTRAIT BY JOHN" S. SARGENT 
PHOTOGRAPHED BY FRANCES B. JOHNSTON 



THE FAIR PLAY DEPARTMENT 

If you think you can convince Theodore Roose- 
velt that a square deal is not the right thing, 
you can look for a change in him when he has 
taken a stand on a moral question; else you 
need n't trouble. 

President Cleveland was in office by that 
time, and the Democratic party was in. But 
Roosevelt stayed as Civil Service Commis- 
sioner, and abated not one jot of his zeal. I do 
not know what compact was made between the 
two men, but I can guess from what I knew of 
them both. An incident of the White House 
shows what kind of regard grew up between 
them as they came to know one another. It 
was the day President McKinley was buried. 
President Roosevelt had come in alone. 
Among the mourners he saw Mr. Cleveland. 
Now, the etiquette of the White House, which 
is in its way as rigid as that of any court in 
Europe, requires that the President shall be 
sought out; he is not to go to any one. But 
Mr. Roosevelt waved it all aside with one im- 
pulsive gesture as he went straight to Mr. 
Cleveland and took his hand. An official who 
stood next to them, and who told me, heard 
him say: 

[121] 



THEODORE ROOSEVELT 

" It will always be a source of pride and 
pleasure to me to have served under President 
Cleveland." Mr. Cleveland shook hands, mute 
with emotion. 

I learned afterward that among all the 
countless messages of sympathy and cheer that 
came to him in those hard days, the one of 
them all he prized highest and that touched 
him most deeply was from Grover Cleveland. 

The Six Years' War was nearly over when 
the summons came to him to take the helm in 
the Police Department in New York City, the 
then storm-center in the fight for civic regen- 
eration. He and his colleague, Mr. Procter, 
had their first and only falling out over his 
choice to go into the new fight. They quar- 
reled over it until Roosevelt put his arm over 
the other's shoulder and said: " Old friend! I 
have made up my mind that it is right for me 
to go." 

Mr. Procter shook him off almost roughly, 
and got up from the table. " All right," he 
said, "go! You always would have your way, 
and I suppose you are right, blank it and blank 
blank it! " and the grizzled old veteran went 
out and wept like a child. 

[ 123 ] 



THE FAIR PLAY DEPARTMENT 

The outcome of it all? Figures convey no 
idea of it. To say that he found 14,000 govern- 
ment officers under the civil service rules, and 
left 40,000, does not tell the story ; not even in 
its own poor way, for there are 125,000 now, 
and when the ransomed number 200,000 it will 
still be Roosevelt's work. President Cleveland 
put it more nearly right in his letter to Mr. 
Roosevelt regretfully accepting his resigna- 
tion. 

6 You are certainly to be congratulated," he 
wrote, " upon the extent and permanency of 
civil service reform methods which you have 
so substantially aided in bringing about. The 
struggle for its firm establishment and recogni- 
tion is past. Its faithful application and rea- 
sonable expansion remain, subjects of deep in- 
terest to all who really desire the best attainable 
public service." 

That was what the country got out of it. 
The fight was won— wait, let me put that a 
little less strongly: the way to the victory is 
cleared. Just now, as I was writing that sen- 
tence, a man, an old friend, a teacher in Israel, 
came into my office and to him I read what I 
had just written. " That 's right," he said ; " I 

[123 1 



THEODORE ROOSEVELT 

came in to ask you if you would n't help a 
young man who wants to get into the public 
employment. He is a fine fellow, has got all 
the qualifications. All he needs is influence to 
get him a place. Without influence you cannot 
do anything." 

The fight will be over the day the American 
people get that notion out of their heads, not 
before. They can drop it now, for it is all that 
really is left. Roosevelt won them the right to 
do that. He won his father's fight that he had 
made his own. I know how much that meant 
to him. 

The country got more out of it : it got a man 
to whom great tasks and great opportunities 
were to come with the years, trained in the 
school of all schools to perfect skill in dealing 
with men, in making out their motives and 
their worth as righting units. The devious 
paths of diplomacy have no such training- 
school for leadership as he found in Washing- 
ton fighting for a great principle, touching el- 
bows every day with men from all over the 
country, with the leaders in thought and action, 
in politics, in every phase of public life. He 
went there, a fearless battler for the right, and 

fl<24] 



THE FAIR PLAY DEPARTMENT 

came away with all his ideals bright and unsul- 
lied. It was in the Civil Service Commission's 
office the cunning was fashioned which, without 
giving offense, put the Kishineff petition into 
the hands of the Czar and his Ministers be- 
fore they had time to say they would not receive 
it, and gave notice to the Muscovite world that 
there was a moral sense across the sea to be 
reckoned with ; of which fact it took due notice. 
Still more did the country get out of that 
Six Years' War: from end to end of the land 
the men with ideals, young and old, the men 
and women who would help their fellows, help 
their cities, took heart from his example and his 
victory. Perhaps that was the greatest gain, 
the one that went farthest. It endures to this 
day. Wherever he fights, men fall in behind 
and fight on with new hope; they know they 
can win if they keep it up. And they will, let 
them be sure of it. All the little defeats are 
just to test their grit. It is a question of grit, 
that is all. 



[125] 



VI 
IN MULBERRY STREET 



VI 
IN MULBERRY STREET 

A DOZEN years had wrought their 
changes since Roosevelt took his leg- 
- islative committee down from Albany 
to investigate the Police Department of New 
York City. The only change they had brought 
to Mulberry Street * was that of aggravating 
a hundredfold the evils which had then at- 
tracted attention. He had put an unerring 
finger upon politics as the curse that was eat- 
ing out the heart of the force once called the 
finest in the world. The diagnosis was cor- 
rect; but the prescription written out by the 
spoilsmen was more politics and ever more poli- 
tics; and the treatment was about as bad as 
could have been devised. With the police be- 
come an avowedly political body with a bi-par- 

1 The Police Headquarters of the city is in Mulberry Street. 

r 129 1 



THEODORE ROOSEVELT 

tisan in stead of a non-partisan Board of Com- 
missioners, there grew up, primarily through 
the operation, or non-operation, of the Sunday 
saloon-closing law, a system of police blackmail 
unheard of in the world before. It was the 
disclosure of its slimy depths through the 
labors of Dr. Parkhurst and of the Lexow 
Committee which brought about the political 
revolution out of which came reform and 
Roosevelt. But in Mulberry Street they were 
hailed as freaks. The " system " so far had 
been invincible. It had broken many men who 
had got in its way. 

" It will break you," was the greeting with 
which Byrnes, the Big Chief, who had ruled 
Mulberry Street with a hard hand, but had 
himself bowed to " the system," received Mr. 
Roosevelt. ' You will yield. You are but 
human." 

The answer of the new President of the 
Board was to close the gate of the politicians 
to police patronage. 

" We want," he said, " the civil service law 
applied to appointments here, not because it is 
the ideal way, but because it is the only way 
to knock the political spoilsmen out, and you 

[130] 



IN MULBERRY STREET 

have to do that to get anywhere." And the 
Board made the order. 

Next he demanded the resignation of the 
chief, and forbade the annual parade for which 
preparations were being made. ' We will 
parade when we need not be ashamed to show 
ourselves." And then he grappled with the 
saloons. 

Here, before we go into that fight, let me 
turn aside a moment to speak of myself; then 
perhaps with good luck we shall have less of 
me hereafter. Though how that can be I don't 
really know; for now I had Roosevelt at last 
in my own domain. For two years we were 
to be together all the day, and quite often most 
of the night, in the environment in which I had 
spent twenty years of my life. And these two 
were the happiest by far of them all. Then 
was life really worth living, and I have a pretty 
robust enjoyment of it at all times. Else- 
where I have told how we became acquainted; 
how he came to my office one day when I was 
out and left his card with the simple words 
written in pencil upon it: "I have read your 
book, and I have come to help." That was the 
beginning. The book was " How the Other 

[131] 



THEODORE ROOSEVELT 

Half Lives," in which I tried to draw an in- 
dictment of the things that were wrong, piti- 
fully and dreadfully wrong, with the tenement 
homes of our wage-workers. It was like a man 
coming to enlist for a war because he believed 
in the cause, and truly he did. Now had come 
the time when he could help indeed. Decency 
had moved into the City Hall, where shame- 
less indifference ruled before. His first 
thought was to have me help there. I preserve 
two letters from him, from the time between 
the election in 1894 that put Tammany out 
and the New Year when Mayor Strong 
and reform moved in, in which he urges this 
idea. 

" It is very important to the city," he writes, 
" to have a business man's mayor, but it is more 
important to have a workingman's mayor, and 
I want Mr. Strong to be that also. ... I am 
exceedingly anxious that, if it is possible, the 
Mayor shall appoint you to some position 
which shall make you one of his official ad- 
visers. ... It is an excellent thing to have rapid 
transit, but it is a good deal more important, 
if you look at matters with a proper perspec- 
tive, to have ample playgrounds in the poorer 

[ 138 ] 



IN MULBERRY STREET 

quarters of the city, and to take the children 
off the streets to prevent them from growing 
up toughs. In the same way it is an admirable 
thing to have clean streets ; indeed, it is an essen- 
tial thing to have them ; but it would be a better 
thing to have our schools large enough to give 
ample accommodation to all should-be pupils, 
and to provide them with proper play- 
grounds." 

You see, he had not changed. His was the 
same old plan, to help the man who was down ; 
and he was right, too. It was and is the es- 
sential thing in a country like ours : not to prop 
him up forever, not to carry him; but to help 
him to his feet so he can go himself. Else the 
whole machine won't go at length in the groove 
in which we have started it. The last letter 
concludes with regret that he had not seen his 
way clear to accept the street-cleaning com- 
missionership that was offered him by the 
Mayor, for " I should have been delighted to 
smash up the corrupt contractors and put the 
street-cleaning force absolutely out of the do- 
main of politics." No doubt he would; but 
it was well he did n't, for so Colonel Waring 
came into our city's life, and he was just such 

[133] 



THEODORE ROOSEVELT 

another, and an engineer besides, who knew 
how. 

As to the share he wanted me to take in it, 
we had it out at the time over that ; and, though 
we had little tugs after that, off and on, it was 
settled then that I should not be called upon 
to render that kind of service — to Mayor 
Strong's rather bewildered relief, I fancy. I 
think, to the end of his official life he did not 
get quite rid of a notion that I was nursing 
some sort of an unsatisfied ambition and reserv- 
ing my strength for a sudden raid upon him. 
I know that when I asked him to appoint an 
unofficial Small Parks Committee, and to put 
me on it, it took him a long time to make up his 
mind that there was not a nigger in that wood- 
pile somewhere. He was the only man, if I am 
right in that, who ever gave me credit for po- 
litical plotting. For when, afterward, as I re- 
corded in " The Making of an American," I 
marched the Christian Endeavorers and the 
Methodist ministers to the support of Roose- 
velt in the fight between him and his wicked 
partners in the Police Board, that was not plot- 
ting, though they called it so, but just war; a 

[134] 



IN MULBERRY STREET 

kind of hold-up, if you like, in the plain in- 
terests of the city's welfare. 

But " the system " Roosevelt was called to 
break up. I shall not attempt to describe it. 
The world must be weary of it to the point 
of disgust. We fought it then ; we fight it now. 
We shall have to fight it no one can tell how 
often or how long; for just as surely as we let 
up for ever so little a while, and Tammany, 
which is always waiting without, gets its foot 
between the door and the jamb, the old black- 
mail rears its head once more. It is the form 
corruption naturally takes in a city with twelve 
or thirteen thousand saloons, with a State law 
that says they shall be closed on Sundays, and 
with a defiant thirst which puts a premium on 
violating the law by making it the most profit- 
able day in the week to the saloon-keeper who 
will take the chances. Those chances are the 
opportunities of the politician and of the police 
where the two connect. The politicians use the 
law as a club to keep the saloons in line, all 
except the biggest, the keepers of which sit in 
the inner councils of "the Hall"; the police 
use it for extorting blackmail. " The result 

[135] 



THEODORE ROOSEVELT 

was," said Roosevelt himself, when he had got 
a bird's-eye view of the situation, " that the 
officers of the law and the saloon-keepers be- 
came inextricably tangled in a network of 
crime and connivance at crime. The most pow- 
erful saloon-keepers controlled the politicians 
and the police, while the latter in turn terror- 
ized and blackmailed all the other saloon-keep- 
ers." Within the year or two that preceded 
Roosevelt's coming to Mulberry Street, this 
system of " blackmail had been brought to such 
a state of perfection, and had become so op- 
pressive to the liquor-dealers themselves, that 
they communicated first with Governor Hill 
and then with Mr. Croker." I am quoting now 
from a statement made by the editor of their 
organ, the " Wine and Spirit Gazette," the 
correctness of which was never questioned. 
The excise law was being enforced with " gross 
discrimination." " A committee of the Cen- 
tral Association of Liquor Dealers took the 
matter up and called upon Police Commis- 
sioner Martin (Mr. Roosevelt's Tammany pre- 
decessor in the presidency of the Board) . An 
agreement was made between the leaders of 
Tammany Hall and the liquor-dealers, accord- 

[ 136 ] 



IN MULBERRY STREET 

ing to "which the monthly blackmail paid to the 
police should be discontinued in return for po- 
litical support' 3 The strange thing is that they 
did not put it on the books at headquarters in 
regular form. Probably they did not think 
of it. 

But the agreement was kept only with those 
who had " pull." It did not hurt them to see 
their smaller, helpless rivals bullied and black- 
mailed by the police. As for the police, they 
were taking no chances. They had bought ap- 
pointment, or promotion, of Tammany with 
the understanding that they were to reimburse 
themselves for the outlay. Their hunger only 
grew as they fed, until they blackmailed every- 
thing in sight, from the push-cart peddler in 
the street, who had bought his license to sell, but 
was clubbed from post to post until he " gave 
up," to the brothel, the gambling-house, and 
the policy-shop, for which they had regular 
rates: so much for "initiation" every time a 
new captain came to the precinct, and so much 
per month for permission to run. The total 
ran up in the millions. New York was a wide- 
open town. The bosses at " the Hall " fairly 
rolled in wealth ; the police had lost all decency 

[137] 



THEODORE ROOSEVELT 

and sense of justice. That is, the men who ran 
the force had. The honest men on the patrol 
posts, the men with the night-sticks as Roose- 
velt called them when he spoke of them, had 
lost courage and hope. 

This was the situation that confronted him in 
Mulberry Street, and with characteristic di- 
rectness he decided that in the saloon was the 
tap-root of the mischief. The thing to do was 
to enforce the Sunday-closing law. And he 
did. 

The storm that rose lives in my memory as 
the most amazing tempest — I was going to 
say in a teapot — that ever was. But it was a 
capital affair to those whose graft was at stake. 
The marvel was in the reach they had. It 
seemed for a season as if society was struck 
through and through with the rottenness of it 
all. That the politicians, at first incredulous, 
took the alarm was not strange. They had an 
interest. But in their tow came half the com- 
munity, as it seemed, counseling, praying, be- 
seeching this man to cease his rash upturning 
of the foundations of things, and use discre- 
tion. Roosevelt replied grimly that there was 
nothing about discretion in his oath of office, 

r 138 1 



IN MULBERRY STREET 

and quoted to them Lincoln's words, " Let rev- 
erence of law be taught in schools and colleges, 
be written in primers and spelling-books, be 
published from pulpits and proclaimed in leg- 
islative houses, and enforced in the courts of 
justice — in short, let it become the political 
religion of the nation." He was doing nothing 
worse than enforcing honestly a law that had 
been enforced dishonestly in all the years. 
Still the clamor rose. The yellow newspapers 
pursued Roosevelt with malignant lies. They 
shouted daily that the city was overrun with 
thieves and murderers, that crime was rampant 
and unavenged, because the police were worn 
out in the Sunday-closing work. Every thief, 
cut-throat, and blackmailer who had place and 
part in the old order of things joined in the 
howl. Roosevelt went deliberately on, the only 
one who was calm amid all the hubbub. And 
when, after many weeks of it, the smoke cleared 
away ; when the saloon-keepers owned in court 
that they were beaten; when the warden of 
Bellevue Hospital reported that for the first 
time in its existence there had not been a 
" case," due to a drunken brawl, in the hospi- 
tal all Monday; when the police courts gave 

[139] 



THEODORE ROOSEVELT 

their testimony, while savings-banks recorded 
increased deposits and pawn-shops hard times ; 
when poor mothers flocked to the institu- 
tions to get their children whom they had 
placed there for safe-keeping in the " wide- 
open " days— then we knew what his victory 
meant. 

These were the things that happened. They 
are the facts. Living in this cosmopolitan city, 
where, year after year, the Sunday-closing law 
turns up as an issue in the fight for good gov- 
ernment,— an issue, so we are told, with the 
very people, the quiet, peace-loving Germans, 
upon whom we, from every other point of view, 
would always count as allies in that struggle, 
— I find myself impatiently enough joining in 
the demand for freedom from the annoyance, 
for a " liberal observance " of Sunday that 
shall rid us of this ghost at our civic banquet. 
And then I turn around and look at the facts 
as they were then ; at that Sunday which Roose- 
velt and I spent from morning till night in the 
tenement districts, seeing for ourselves what 
went on; at the happy children and contented 
mothers we met whose homes, according to their 
self-styled defenders, were at that verv time 

r ho i 



IN MULBERRY STREET 

being " hopelessly desolated by the enforce- 
ment of a tyrannical law surviving from the 
dark ages of religious bigotry " ; and I ask my- 
self how much of all the clamor for Sunday 
beer comes from the same pot that spewed 
forth its charges against Roosevelt so venom- 
ously. It may be that we shall need another 
emancipation before we get our real bearings: 
the delivery of the honest Germans from their 
spokesmen who would convince us that with 
them every issue of family life, of good govern- 
ment, of manhood and decency, is subordinate 
to the one of beer, and beer only. 

Blackmail was throttled for a season; but 
the clamor never ceased. Roosevelt shut the 
police-station lodging-rooms, the story of 
which I told in " The Making of an Ameri- 
can." Greater service was never rendered the 
city by any man. For it he was lampooned and 
caricatured. He was cruel!— he who spent his 
waking and sleeping hours planning relief 
for his brother in distress. So little was he 
understood that even the venerable chairman 
of the Charter Revision Committee asked him 
sternly if he " had no pity for the poor." I 
can see him now, bending contracted brows 

[ 141 ] 



THEODORE ROOSEVELT 

upon the young man who struck right and 
left where he saw wrong done. Roosevelt an- 
swered patiently enough, with respect for the 
gray hairs, that it was poor pity for the tramp 
to enable him to go on tramping, which was all 
the lodging-houses did; and he went right 
ahead and shut them up. 

We had a law forbidding the sale of liquor 
to children, which was a dead letter. I stood 
in front of one East Side saloon and watched 
a steady stream of little ones with mugs and 
bottles going through the door, and I told 
Roosevelt. He gave orders to seize the worst 
offender, and had him dragged to court ; but to 
do it he had to permit the use of a boy to get 
evidence, a regular customer who had gone 
there a hundred times for a bad purpose, and 
now was sent in once for a good one. A howl of 
protest arose. The magistrate discharged the 
saloon-keeper and reprimanded the policeman. 
Like a pack of hungry wolves they snarled 
at Roosevelt. He was to be legislated out of 
office. He turned to the decent people of the 
city. ' We shall not have to employ such 
means," he said, " once a year, but when we 
need to we shall not shrink from it. It is idle 

[ 142] 



IN MULBERRY STREET 

to ask us to employ against law-breakers only 
such means as those law-breakers approve. 
We are not playing ' puss in the corner ' with 
the criminals. We intend to stamp out these 
vermin, and we do not intend to consult the 
vermin as to the methods we shall employ." 
And the party managers at Albany he warned 
publicly that an attack upon the Police Board, 
on whatever pretext, was an attack upon its 
members because they had done their duty, 
and that the politicians must reckon with de- 
cent sentiment, if they dared punish them for 
declining to allow the police force to be used 
for political purposes, or to let law-breakers go 
unpunished. 

Roosevelt won. He conquered politics and 
he stopped law -breaking ; but the biggest vic- 
tory he won was over the cynicism of a peo- 
ple so steeped in it all that they did not dream 
it could be done. Tammany came back, but 
not to stay. And though it may come back 
many times yet for our sins, it will be merely 
like the thief who steals in to fill his pockets 
from the till when the store-keeper is not look- 
ing. That was what we got out of having 
Roosevelt on the Police Board. He could not 

[143] 



THEODORE ROOSEVELT 

set us free. We have got to do that ourselves. 
But he cut our bonds and gave us arms, if we 
chose to use them. 

Of the night trips we took together to see 
how the police patrolled in the early hours of 
the morning, when the city sleeps and police- 
men are most needed, I told in the story of my 
own life, and shall not here repeat it. They 
earned for him the name of Haroun-al-Roose- 
velt, those trips that bore such sudden good 
fruit in the discipline of the force. They were 
not always undertaken solely to wake up the 
police. Roosevelt wanted to know the city by 
night, and the true inwardness of some of the 
problems he was struggling with as Health 
Commissioner ; for the President of the Police 
Board was by that fact a member of the Health 
Board also. One might hear of overcrowd- 
ing in tenements for years and not grasp 
the subject as he could by a single midnight 
inspection with the sanitary police. He 
wanted to understand it all, the smallest with 
the greatest, and sometimes the information he 
brought out was unique, to put it mildly. I 
can never think of one of those expeditions 
without a laugh. We had company that night : 

[144] 



IN MULBERRY STREET 

Hamlin Garland and Dr. Alexander Lambert 
were along. In the midnight hour we stopped 
at a peanut-stand in Rivington Street for 
provender, and while the Italian made change 
Roosevelt pumped him on the economic prob- 
lem he presented. How could he make it pay ? 
No one was out ; it did not seem as if his sales 
could pay for even the fuel for his torch that 
threw its flickering light upon dark pavements 
and deserted streets. The peanut-man groped 
vainly for a meaning in his polite speech, and 
turned a bewildered look upon the doctor. 

" How," said he, coming promptly to the 
rescue, — "how you make him pay — cash — 
pan out — monish? " 

The Italian beamed with sudden under- 
standing. " Nah! " he said, with a gesture elo- 
quent of resentment and resignation in one: 
" Wat I maka on de peanut I losa on de dam' 
banan'." 

Did the police hate Roosevelt for making 
them do their duty? No, they loved him. The 
crooks hated him; they do eveiy where, and 
with reason. But the honest men on the force, 
who were, after all, in the great majority, even 
if they had knuckled under in discouragement 

[145] 



THEODORE ROOSEVELT 

to a system that could break them, but against 
which they were powerless, came quickly to 
accept him as their hope of delivery. For the 
first time in the history of the department every 
man had a show on his merits. Amazing as 
it was, " pull " was dead. Politics or religion 
cut no figure. No one asked about them. But 
did a policeman, pursuing a burglar through 
the night, dive running into the Park Avenue 
railroad tunnel, risking a horrible death to 
catch his man, he was promptly promoted ; did 
a bicycle policeman lie with broken and bruised 
bones after a struggle with a runaway horse 
that meant his life or the lives of helpless wo- 
men and children if he let go, he arose from his 
bed a roundsman with the medal for bravery 
on his breast. Did a gray-haired veteran swim 
ashore among grinding ice-floes with a drown- 
ing woman, he was called to headquarters and 
made a sergeant. I am speaking of cases that 
actually occurred. The gray-haired veteran of 
the Civil War had saved twenty-eight lives at 
the risk of his own, — his beat lay along the river 
shore,— had been twice distinguished by Con- 
gress with medals for valor, bore the life-sav- 
ing medal, and had never a complaint against 

[146] 



IN MULBERRY STREET 

him on the discipline-book; but about all the 
recognition he had ever earned from the Police 
Board was the privilege of buying a new uni- 
form at his own expense when he had ruined 
the old one in risking his life. Roosevelt had 
not been in Mulberry Street four weeks when 
the board resolved, on his motion, that clothes 
ruined in risking life on duty were a badge of 
honor, of which the board was proud to pay the 
cost. 

That the police became, from a band of 
blackmailers' tools, a body of heroes in a few 
brief months, only backs up my belief that the 
heart of the force, with which my lines were 
cast half a lifetime, was and is all right, with 
the Deverys and the Murphys out of the way. 
Led by a Roosevelt, it would be the most mag- 
nificent body of men to be found anywhere. 
Two years under him added quite a third to the 
roll-of -honor record of forty years under Tam- 
many politics. However, the enemy was quick 
to exploit what there was in that. When I 
looked over the roll the other day I found page 
upon page inscribed with names I did not 
know, behind one of a familiar sound, though I 
could not quite make it out. Tammany or 

[14T] 



THEODORE ROOSEVELT 

Toomany— either way would mean the same 
thing : it was no longer a roll of honor. 

These were some of the things Roosevelt did 
in Mulberry Street. He did many more, and 
they were all for its good. He did them all so 
simply, so frankly, that in the end he disarmed 
criticism, which in the beginning took it all for 
a new game, an " honesty racket," of which it 
had not got the hang, and could not,— con- 
founded his enemies, who grew in number as 
his success grew and sat up nights hatching out 
plots by which to trip him. Roosevelt strode 
through them all, kicking their snares right and 
left, half the time not dreaming that they were 
there, and laughing contemptuously when he 
saw them. I remember a mischief-maker whose 
mission in life seemed to be to tell lies at head- 
quarters and carry tales, setting people at odds 
where he could. He was not an official, but an 
outsider, an idler with nothing better to do, 
but a man with a " pull " among politicians. 
Roosevelt came upon some of his lies, traced 
them to their source, and met the man at the 
door the next time he came nosing around. I 
was there and heard what passed. 

" Mr. So-and-so." said the President of the 



IN MULBERRY STREET 

Board; " I have heard this thing, and I am 
told you said it. You know, of course, that it 
is a lie. I shall send at once for the man who 
says he heard you tell it, so that you may meet 
him; because you know if you did say it we 
cannot have you around here any more." The 
man got out at once and never came back while 
Roosevelt was there. 

It was all as simple as that, perfectly open 
and aboveboard, and I think he was buncoed 
less than any of his " wise " predecessors. 
There was that in his trust in uncorrupted hu- 
man nature that brought out a like response. 
There always is, thank heaven ! You get what 
you give in trust and affection. The man who 
trusts no one has his faith justified; no one will 
trust him, and he will find plenty to try their 
wits upon him. Once in a while Roosevelt's 
sympathies betrayed him, but not to his dis- 
credit. They laugh yet in the section-rooms at 
the police stations over the trick played upon 
him by a patrolman whose many peccadilloes 
had brought him at last to the " jumping-off 
place." This time he was to be dismissed. The 
President said so; there was no mercy. But 
the policeman had " piped him off." He knew 

[H9 1 



THEODORE ROOSEVELT 

his soft spot. In the morning, when the Com- 
missioner came fresh from his romp with his 
own babies, there confronted him eleven young- 
sters of all ages, howling dolefully. The 
doomed policeman mutely introduced them 
with a sorrowful gesture,— motherless all. 

Mr. Roosevelt's stern gaze softened. What, 
no mother? all these children! Go, then, and 
take one more chance, one last chance. And 
the policeman went out with the eleven chil- 
dren which were not his at all. He had bor- 
rowed them, all but two, from the neighbors 
in his tenement. 

But there is no malice in the joking at his 
expense, rather affection. It is no mean trib- 
ute to human nature, even in the policeman's 
uniform, that for the men who tricked Roose- 
velt in the Police Board — his recreant col- 
leagues—and undid what they could of his 
work, there survives in the Department the ut- 
most contempt and detestation, while Roose- 
velt is held in the heartiest regard that is not in 
the least due to his exalted station, but to a 
genuine reverence for the man's character as 
Mulberry Street saw it when it was put to the 
severest test. 

[150] 




i— l o es 

x H § 

o g * 

< .« = 



IN MULBERRY STREET 

I shall have, after all, to ask those who would 
know him at this period of his life, as I 
knew him, to read " The Making of an Ameri- 
can," because I should never get through were 
I to try to tell it all. He made, as I said, a 
large part of my life in Mulberry Street, and 
by far the best part. When he went, I had no 
heart in it. Of the strong hand he lent in the 
battle with the slum, as a member of the Health 
Board, that book will tell them. We had all 
the ammunition for the fight, the law and all, 
but there was no one who dared begin it till he 
came. Then the batteries opened fire at once, 
and it is largely due to him and his unhesitat- 
ing courage that we have got as far as we have. 
And that means something beyond the ordi- 
nary, for we were acting under an untried law, 
the failure of which might easily involve a man 
in suits for very great damages. Indeed, Mr. 
Roosevelt was sued twice by landlords whose 
tenements he destroyed. One characteristic in- 
cident survives in my memory from that day. 
An important office was to be filled in the 
Health Department, about which I knew. 
There were two candidates: one the son of a 
janitor, educated in the public schools, faithful 

[151] 



THEODORE ROOSEVELT 

and able, but without polish or special fitness; 
the other a college man, a graduate of how many- 
foreign schools of learning I don't know, a gen- 
tleman of travel, of refinement. He was the 
man for the position, which included much con- 
tact with the outer world, — so I judged, and so 
did others. Roosevelt had the deciding vote. 
We urged our man strongly upon him. He 
saw the force of our arguments, and yielded, 
but slowly and most reluctantly. His out- 
spoken preference was for the janitor's son, 
who had fought himself up to the point where 
he could compete. And he was right, after all. 
The other was a failure ; he was over-educated. 
I was glad, for Roosevelt's sake as well as for 
my own, when in after years the janitor's son 
took his place and came to his own. 

One incident, which I have told before, I 
cannot forbear setting down here again, for 
without it even this fragmentary record would 
be too incomplete. I mean his meeting with 
the labor men who were having constant trou- 
ble with the police over their strikes, their 
pickets, etc. They made me much too proud 
of them, both he and they, for me ever to for- 
get that. Roosevelt saw that the trouble was 

[152] 



IN MULBERRY STREET 

in their not understanding one another, and he 
asked the labor leaders to meet him at Claren- 
don Hall to talk it over. Together we trudged 
through a blinding snow-storm to the meeting. 
This was at the beginning of things, when the 
town had not yet got the bearings of the man. 
The strike leaders thought they had to do with 
an ambitious politician, and they tried bluster. 
They would do so and so unless the police were 
compliant; and they watched to get him 
placed. They had not long to wait. Roose- 
velt called a halt, short and sharp. 

" Gentlemen! " he said, " we want to under- 
stand one another. That was my object in 
coming here. Remember, please, that he who 
counsels violence does the cause of labor the 
poorest service. Also, he loses his case. Under- 
stand distinctly that order will be kept. The 
police will keep it. Now, gentlemen! " 

There was a moment's amazed suspense, and 
then the hall rang with their cheers. They had 
him placed then, for they knew a man when 
they saw him. And he, — he went home proud 
and happy, for his trust in his fellow-man was 
justified. 

He said, when it was all over, that there was 

[153] 



THEODORE ROOSEVELT 

no call at all for any genius in the work of 
administering the police force, nor, indeed, for 
any unusual qualities, but just common sense, 
common honesty, energy, resolution, and readi- 
ness to learn; which was probably so. They 
are the qualities he brought to everything he 
ever put his hands to. But if he learned some- 
thing in that work that helped round off the 
man in him, — though it was not all sweetness or 
light,— he taught us much more. His plain per- 
formance of a plain duty, the doing the right 
because it was the right, taught us a lesson we 
stood in greater need of than of any other. 
Roosevelt's campaign for the reform of the 
police force became the moral issue of the day. 
It swept the cobwebs out of our civic brains, 
and blew the dust from our eyes, so that we saw 
clearly where all had been confusion before: 
saw straight, rather. We rarely realize, in these 
latter days, how much of our ability to fight 
for good government, and our hope of winning 
the fight, is due to the campaign of honesty 
waged by Theodore Roosevelt in Mulberry 
Street. 



[154] 



VII 
THE CLASH OF WAR 



VII 
THE CLASH OF WAR 

IT sounded like old times, to us who had 
stayed behind in Mulberry Street, when, 
within a few months after his departure 
for Washington, the wail came from down 
there that Roosevelt was playing at war with 
the ships, that he was spoiling for a row, and 
did not care what it cost. It seems he had 
been asking a million dollars or so for target 
practice, and, when he got that, demanding 
more — another half million. I say it sounded 
like old times, for that was the everlasting re- 
frain of the grievance while he ran the police: 
there was never to be any rest or peace where he 
was. No, there was not. In Mulberry Street 
it was his business to make war on the scoun- 
drels who had wrecked the force and brought 
disgrace upon our city. To Washington he 

[157] 



THEODORE ROOSEVELT 

had gone to sharpen the tools of war. War he 
knew must come. They all knew it ; it was his 
business to prepare for it, since the first and 
hardest blows must be struck on the sea. 

Here let me stop a moment to analyze his 
attitude toward this war that was looming on 
the horizon even before he left Mulberry 
Street. It was perfectly simple, as simple as 
anything he ever did or said, to any one who 
had ever taken the trouble to " think him out." 
I had followed him to Washington to watch 
events for my paper, and there joined the " war 
party," as President McKinley called Roose- 
velt and Leonard Wood, poking fun at them 
in his quiet way. There was not a trace of self- 
seeking or of jingoism in Roosevelt's attitude, 
unless you identify jingoism with the stalwart 
Americanism that made him write these words 
the year before: 

" Every true patriot, every man of states- 
manlike habit, should look forward to the time 
when not a single European power shall hold a 
foot of American soil." Not, he added, that it 
was necessary to question the title of foreign 
powers to present holdings; but " it certainly 
will become necessary if the timid and selfish 

[158] 



THE CLASH OF WAR 

peace-at-any-price men have their way, and 
if the United States fails to check, at the out- 
set, European aggrandizement on this con- 
tinent." 

That was one end of it, the political one, if 
you please ; the Monroe Doctrine in its briefest 
and simplest form. Spain had by outrageous 
mismanagement of its West Indian colonies 
proved herself unfit, and had forfeited the 
right to remain. The mismanagement had be- 
come a scandal upon our own shores. Every 
year the yellow fever that was brewed in Cuban 
filth crossed over and desolated a thousand 
homes in our Southern States. If proof were 
wanted that it was mismanagement that did it, 
events have more than supplied it since, and 
justified the war of humanity. 

Plain humanity was the other end, of it, 
and the biggest. I know, for I saw how it 
worked upon his mind. I was in Washington 
when a German cigar-manufacturer, whose 
business took him once or twice a year to Cuba, 
came to the capital seeking an interview with 
Senator Lodge, his home senator, since he was 
from Boston. I can see him now sitting in the 
committee -room and telling how on his last 

[159] 



THEODORE ROOSEVELT 

trip he had traveled to some inland towns where 
he was in the habit of doing business, but where 
now all had been laid waste; how when he sat 
down in the inn to eat such food as he could 
get, a famished horde of gaunt, half -naked 
women, with starving babies at barren breasts, 
crept up like dogs to his chair, fighting for the 
crumbs that fell from his plate. Big tears 
rolled down the honest German's face as he 
told of it. He could not eat, he could not 
sleep until he had gone straight to Washing- 
ton to tell there what he had witnessed. I can 
see the black look come into Roosevelt's face 
and hear him muttering under his breath, for 
he, too, had little children whom he loved. 
And the old anger wells up in me at the 
thought of those who would have stayed our 
hand. Better a thousand times war with all its 
horrors than a hell like that. That was mur- 
der, and of women and innocent children. 
The war that avenges such infamy I hail as the 
messenger of wrath of an outraged God. 

The war was a moral issue with him, as in- 
deed it was with all of us who understood. It 
was with such facts as these— and there was 
no lack of them— in mind and heart that he 

[160] 



THE CLASH OF WAR 

responded hotly to Senator Hanna pleading 
for peace for the sake of the country's com- 
merce and prosperity, that much as he appre- 
ciated those blessings, the honor of the country 
was of more account than temporary business 
prosperity. It has slipped my mind what was 
the particular occasion,— some club gathering, 
— but I have not forgotten the profound im- 
pression the Xaval Secretary's words made as 
he insisted that our country could better afford 
to lose a thousand of the bankers that have 
added to its wealth than one Farragut ; that it 
were better for it never to have had all the rail- 
road magnates that have built it up, great as 
is their deserving, than to have lost Grant and 
Sherman ; better that it had never known com- 
mercial greatness than that it should miss from 
its history one Lincoln. Unless the moral over- 
balance the material, we are indeed riding for 
a fall in all our pride. 

So he made ready for the wrath to come. 
And now his early interest in naval affairs, that 
gave us his first book, bore fruit. When the 
work of preparation was over, and Roosevelt 
was bound for the war to practice what he had 
preached, his chief, Secretary Long, said, in 

[161] 



THEODORE ROOSEVELT 

bidding him good-by, that he had been literally 
invaluable in his place, and that the navy would 
feel the stimulus of his personality for a long 
time. His industry was prodigious. He 
bought ships for the invasion of Cuba, and 
fitted them out. He recruited crews and shot 
away fortunes with the big guns— recklessly 
shouted the critics. He knew better. His ex- 
perience as a hunter had taught him that the 
best gun in the world was wasted on a man who 
did not know how to use it. The Spaniards 
found that out later. Roosevelt loaded up 
with ammunition and with coal. When at last 
the war broke out, Dewey found everything he 
needed at Hongkong where he sought it, and 
was able to sail across to Manila a week before 
they expected him there. And then we got the 
interest on the gun-practice that had fright- 
ened the economical souls at home. 

In Mulberry Street it was corruption that 
defied him; now it was the stubborn red tape 
of a huge department that dragged and 
dragged at his feet, and threatened to snare 
him up at every second step he took, — the most 
disheartening of human experiences. The men 
he came quickly to like. " They are a fine lot 

[162] 



THE CLASH OF WAR 

of fellows," he wrote to me, " these naval men. 
You would take to them at sight." Of the 
other he never spoke, but I can imagine how 
it must have nagged him. To this day, when 
I have anything I want to find out or do in the 
Navy Department, it seems flatly impossible 
to make a short cut to the thing I want. So 
many bureaus, so many chief clerks, and so 
many what-you-may-call-'ems have to pass 
upon it. It is the way of the world, I suppose, 
to go on magnifying and exalting the barrel 
where the staves are men with their little in- 
terests and conceits, until what it is made to 
hold is of secondary importance or less. In the 
end he burst through it as he did through the 
jobs the police conspirators tried to put up on 
him ; kicked it all to pieces and went on his way. 
A new light shone through the dusty old 
windows. For generations, since steam came 
to replace sail, there had been a contention 
between the line and the engineer corps, as 
to rank and pay, that cut into the heart of 
the navy. It was the fight of the old against 
the new that goes on in all days. The old 
line-officer was loath to give equal place to 
the engineer, who, when he was young, was 

[163] 



THEODORE ROOSEVELT 

but an auxiliary, an experiment. The place of 
honor was still to be on the deck, though 
long since the place of responsibility had 
moved to the engine-room. The engineer in- 
sisted upon recognition; met the other upon 
the floor of Congress and checkmated him in 
his schemes of legislation. The quarrel was 
bitter, irreconcilable; on every ship there were 
hostile camps. Neither could make headway 
for the other. Roosevelt, as chairman of a 
board to reconcile the differences that were 
older than the navy itself as it is to-day, 
steered it successfully between the two fatal 
reefs and made peace. Under his " personnel 
bill " each side obtained its rights, and, with 
the removal of the pretext for future quarrels, 
the navy was greatly strengthened. Cadets 
now receive the same training; the American 
naval officer in the next war will be equally 
capable of commanding on deck and of mend- 
ing a broken engine. 

When it came to picking out the man who 
was to command in the East, where the blow 
must be struck, Roosevelt picked Dewey. They 
laughed at him. Dewey was a " dude," they 
said. It seems the red tape had taken notice of 

[ 164 ] 



THE CLASH OF WAR 

the fact that the Commodore was always trim 
and neat, and, judging him by its own stan- 
dard, thought that was all. Roosevelt told 
them no, he would fight. And he might wear 
whatever kind of collar he chose, so long as he 
did that. I remember, when Dewey was gone 
with his ships, the exultation with which Roose- 
velt spoke of the choice. We were walking 
down Connecticut Avenue, with his bicycle be- 
tween us, discussing Dewey. Leonard Wood 
came out of a side street and joined us. His 
mind was on Cuba. Roosevelt, with prophetic 
eye, beheld Manila and the well-stocked am- 
munition-bins in Chinese waters. 

" Dewey," he said, " is the man for the place. 
He has a lion heart." 

I guess none of us feels like disputing his 
judgment at this day, any more than we do 
the wisdom of the gun-practice. 

When Dewey was in the East, it was Roose- 
velt's influence in the naval board that kept 
his fleet intact. The Olympia had been ordered 
home. Roosevelt secured the repeal of the 
order. " Keep the Olympiad he cabled him, 
and " keep full of coal." The resistless energy 
of the man carried all before it till the day 

[165] 



THEODORE ROOSEVELT 

when orders were cabled under the Pacific to 
the man with the lion heart to go in and 
smash the enemy. " Capture or destroy! " We 
know the rest. 

Roosevelt's work was done. " There is no- 
thing more for me to do here/' he said. " I 've 
got to get into the fight myself." 

They told him to stay, he was needed where 
he was. But he was right : his work was done. 
It was to prepare for war. With the fighting 
of the ships he had, could have, nothing to do. 
Merely to sit in an office and hold down a job, 
a title, or a salary, was not his way. He did 
not go lightly. His wife was lying sick, with a 
little baby; his other children needed him. I 
never had the good fortune to know a man who 
loves his children more devotedly and more 
sensibly than he. There was enough to keep 
him at home; there were plenty to plead with 
him. I did myself, for I hated to see him go. 
His answer was as if his father might have 
spoken: " I have done all I could to bring on 
the war, because it is a just war, and the sooner 
we meet it the better. Now that it has come, 
I have no business to ask others to do the fight- 
ing and stay at home myself." 

[166] 



THE CLASH OF WAR 

It was right, and he went. I have not for- 
gotten that gray afternoon in early May when 
I went with him across the river to the train 
that was to carry him and his horse South. 
He had made his will; the leave-taking was 
over and had left its mark. There was in him 
no trace of the " spoiling for a fight " that for 
the twentieth time was cast up against him. 
He looked soberly, courageously ahead to a 
new and untried experience, hopeful of the 
glad day that should see our arms victorious 
and the bloody usurper driven from Cuba. 
" I won't be long." He waved his hand and 
was gone; and to me the leaden sky seemed 
drearier, the day more desolate than before. 

Two weary months dragged their slow 
length along. There had been fighting in 
Cuba. Every morning my wife and I plotted 
each to waylay the newsboy to get the paper 
first and make sure he was safe before the 
other should see it. And then one bright and 
blessed July morning, when the land was ring- 
ing with the birthday salute of the nation, she 
came with shining eyes, waving the paper, in 
which we read together of the charge on San 
Juan Hill; how the Rough-Riders charged, 

[167] 



THEODORE ROOSEVELT 

with him at their head, through a hail of Span- 
ish bullets, the men dropping by twos and 
threes as they ran. 

' When they came 1 to the open, smooth 
hillside there was no protection. Bullets were 
raining down at them, and shot and shells from 
the batteries were sweeping everything. There 
was a moment's hesitation, and then came the 
order : ' Forward ! charge ! ' Lieutenant-Colo- 
nel Roosevelt led, waving his sword. Out 
into the open the men went, and up the hill. 
Death to every man seemed certain. The 
crackle of the Mauser rifles was continuous. 
Out of the brush came the riders. Up, up they 
went, with the colored troops alongside of 
them, not a man flinching, and forming as 
they ran. Roosevelt was a hundred feet in 
the lead. Up, up they went in the face of 
death, men dropping from the ranks at 
every step. The Rough-Riders acted like 
veterans. It was an inspiring sight and an 
awful one. 

" Astounded by the madness of the rush, the 
Spaniards exposed themselves. This was a 
fatal mistake. The Tenth Cavalry (the col- 

1 This was the account we read in the New York " Sun." 
[168 1 



THE CLASH OF WAR 

ored troops) picked them off like ducks and 
rushed on, up and up. 

" The more Spaniards were killed, the more 
seemed to take their places. The rain of shells 
and bullets doubled. Men dropped faster and 
faster, but others took their places. Roosevelt 
sat erect on his horse, holding his sword and 
shouting for his men to follow him. Finally, 
his horse was shot from under him, but he 
landed on his feet and continued calling for his 
men to advance. He charged up the hill afoot. 

" It seemed an age to the men who were 
watching, and to the Rough-Riders the hill 
must have seemed miles high. But they were 
undaunted. They went on, firing as fast as 
their guns would work. 

" At last the top of the hill was reached. The 
Spaniards in the trenches could still have anni- 
hilated the Americans, but the Yankees' daring 
dazed them. They wavered for an instant, and 
then turned and ran. 

" The position was won and the block-house 
captured. ... In the rush more than half of 
the Rough-Riders were wounded." 

In how many American homes was that 
splendid story read that morning with a thrill 

[169] 



THEODORE ROOSEVELT 

never quite to be got over! We read it toge- 
ther, she and I, excited, breathless; and then 
we laid down the paper and gave two such 
rousing cheers as had n't been heard in Rich- 
mond Hill that Fourth of July morning, one 
for the flag and one for Theodore Roosevelt. 
What was breakfast? The war was won and 
over ! 

We live in a queer world. One man sees the 
glorious painting, priceless for all time; the 
other but the fly-speck on the frame. A year 
or two after, some one, I think he was an editor, 
wrote to ask me if the dreadful thing was true 
that in the rush up that hill Roosevelt said, 
"Hell!" I don't know what I replied— I 
want to forget it. I know I said it, anyhow. 
But, great Scott! think of it. 

Of that war and of his regiment, from the 
day it was evolved, uniformed, armed, and 
equipped, through " ceaseless worrying of ex- 
cellent bureaucrats who had no idea how to 
do things quickly or how to meet an emer- 
gency," 1 all through the headlong race with a 
worse enemy than the one in front, — the ma- 

1 1 am quoting " The Rough-Riders. " It seems, then, the 
navy has no patent on red tape. I thought as much. 

r 170 1 



THE CLASH OF WAR 

laria, upon which the Spaniards counted openly 
as their grewsome ally, — down to the day when, 
the army's work done, Colonel Roosevelt 
" wrecked his career " finally and for good, by 
demanding its recall home, he himself has told 
the story in " The Rough-Riders." Every 
school-boy in the land knows it. The Rough- 
Riders came out of the heroic past of our coun- 
try's history, held the forefront of the stage 
for three brief months, and melted back into 
college, and camp, and mine with never a rip- 
ple. But they left behind them a mark which 
this generation will not see effaced. To those 
who think it a sudden ambitious thought, a 
" streak of luck," I commend this reference to 
the " rifle-bearing horsemen " on page 249 
of the second volume of his " Winning of the 
West," written quite ten years before: " They 
were brave and hardy, able to tread their way 
unerringly through the forests, and fond of 
surprises; and though they always fought on 
foot, they moved on horseback, and therefore 
with great celerity. Their operations should 
be carefully studied by all who wish to learn the 
possibilities of mounted riflemen." Before he 
or any one else dreamed of the war, he had 

[171] 



THEODORE ROOSEVELT 

studied and thought it all out, and when the 
chance came he was ready for it and took it. 
That is all there ever was in " Roosevelt's 
luck " ; and that is about all there is in this luck 
business, anyhow, as I have said before. 

The chance came to one man beside him who 
was ready, and the world is the better for it. 
I saw the growing friendship between the two 
that year in Washington, and was glad; for 
Leonard Wood is another man to tie to, as one 
soon finds out who knows him. They met there 
for the first time, but in one brief year they 
grew to be such friends that when the command 
of the regiment was offered Roosevelt, he asked 
for second place under Wood; for Wood had 
seen service in the field, as Roosevelt had not. 
He had earned the medal of honor for un- 
daunted courage and great ability in the ar- 
duous campaigns against the Apaches. Both 
earned their promotion in battle afterward. 
I liked to see them together because they are 
men of the same strong type. When Roosevelt 
writes of his friend that, " like so many of the 
gallant fighters with whom it was later my 
good fortune to serve, he combined in a very 
high degree the qualities of entire manliness 

[172] 



THE CLASH OF WAR 

with entire uprightness and cleanliness of char- 
acter; it was a pleasure to deal with a man of 
high ideals who scorned everything mean and 
base, and who also possessed those robust and 
hardy qualities of body and mind, for the lack 
of which no merely negative virtue can ever 
atone "—he draws as good a picture of himself 
as his best friend could have done. While the 
Roosevelts and the Woods come when they are 
needed, as they always have come, our coun- 
try is safe. 

Together they sailed away in the spring- 
time, southward through the tropic seas, to- 
ward the unknown. ' We knew not whither 
we were bound, nor what we were to do; but 
we believed that the nearing future held for us 
many chances of death and hardship, of honor 
and renown. If we failed, we would share 
the fate of all who fail; but we were sure that 
we would win, that we should score the first 
great triumph in a mighty world-movement." 
The autumn days were shortening when I 
stood at Montauk Point scanning the sea for 
the vessels that should bring them back. 
Within the year one was to sit at Albany, the 
Governor of his own, the Empire State; the 

[173] 



THEODORE ROOSEVELT 

other in the palace of the conquered tyrant 
on the rescued isle. For Roosevelt committees 
were waiting, honors and high office. The 
country rang with his name. But when he 
stepped ashore his concern was for his own at 
home, — for his wife; and when I told him that 
I had brought her down to see his triumph, 
he thanked me with a handshake that told me 
how glad he was. 

I see him now riding away over the hill, in his 
Rough-Rider uniform, to the hospital where his 
men lay burning up with the fever. Wherever 
he came, confusion, incapacity, gave way to 
order and efficiency. Things came round at 
once. So did his men. The sight of his face 
was enough to make them rally for another 
fight with the enemy. They had seen him 
walking calmly on top of the earth wall when, 
in the small hours of the morning, drenched by 
pouring rains, chilled to the bone, and starving 
in the trenches, they were roused by the alarm 
that the Spaniards were coming, and the sight 
made them heroes. They had heard his cheer- 
ing voice when the surgeons were dressing the 
wounded by candle-light, after the fight at Las 
Guasimas: " Roys, if there is a man at home 

[ i ™ ] 



THE CLASH OF WAR 

who would n't be proud to change places with 
you he is not worth his salt, and he is not a 
true American " ; and the ring of it was with 
them yet. So they took heart of hope and got 
well, and went back to those who loved them, 
even as did he for a little while. Then we 
needed him again, and he came when he was 
called. 



[175 



VIII 
ROOSEVELT AND HIS MEN 



VIII 
ROOSEVELT AND HIS MEN 

THERE was a thunder of hoofs on the 
road that descends the slope from 
Camp Wikoff to the Life-Saving Sta- 
tion, and a squad of horsemen swarmed over 
the hill. A stocky, strongly built man on a big 
horse was in the lead. In his worn uniform 
and gray army hat he suggested irresistibly, as 
he swept by, Sheridan on his wild ride to 
" Winchester, twenty miles away." They were 
gone like the wind, leaping the muddy ford at 
the foot of the hill and galloping madly across 
the sands. My horse, that had been jogging 
along sedately enough till then, caught the 
spirit of the rush and made after them, hard as 
he could go. On the beach we caught up with 
them, riding in and out of the surf with shouts 
of delight, like so many centaurs at play. The 

[179] 



THEODORE ROOSEVELT 

salt spray dashed over them in showers of shin- 
ing white, but they yelled back defiance at the 
ocean. Their leader watched them from his 
horse, and laughed loudly at their sport. 

They were Roosevelt and his men. " Roose- 
velt's Rough-Riders " belong to history now, 
with the war in which they held such a pic- 
turesque place. I had seen them go, full of 
youthful spirits, eager for the fray, and it was 
my privilege to hear the last speech their Colo- 
nel made to them on the night when the news 
of the disbandment came. He had ridden up 
from the Commanding General's quarters with 
the message, and, calling his men about him in 
the broad street facing the officers' tents, told 
them of the coming parting. 

" I know what you were in the field," he 
said. " You were brave and strong. I ask 
now of you that every man shall go back and 
serve his country as well in peace as he did in 
war. I can trust you to do it." 

They tried to cheer, some of them, but they 
had no heart in it. The men went quietly to 
their tents with sober faces, and I saw in them 
that which warranted the trust their Colonel 
put in them. 

[180] 



ROOSEVELT AND HIS MEN 

The Rough-Riders were not, as many have 
supposed, a product of the war with Spain. 
On the contrary, the mounted riflemen were 
the historic arm of the United States from the 
earliest days of the Nation. In the War of 
the Revolution they came out of the West and 
killed or captured the whole of the British 
forces at King's Mountain. A descendant of 
two of the three colonels who commanded them 
then fought with Roosevelt at Las Guasimas 
and on the San Juan hill. They furnished the 
backbone of Andrew Jackson's forces in the 
War of 1812. As the Texas Rangers they be- 
came famous in the troubles with Mexico. 
They conquered the French towns on the Illi- 
nois, and won the West from the Indians in a 
hundred bloody fights. In the Civil War they 
lost, to a great extent, their identity, but not 
their place in the van and the thick of the fight. 
Theodore Roosevelt as a historian knew their 
record and value ; as a hunter and a plainsman 
he knew where to find the material with which 
to fill up the long-broken ranks. It came at his 
summons from the plains and the cattle-ranges 
of the great West, from the mines of the Rocky 
Mountains, from the counting-rooms and col- 

[181] 



THEODORE ROOSEVELT 

leges of the East, and from the hunting-trail of 
the wilderness, wherever the spirit of adventure 
had sent young men out with the rifle to hunt 
big game or to engage in the outdoor sports 
that train mind and body to endure uncomplain- 
ingly the hardships of campaigning. The 
Rough-Riders were the most composite lot that 
ever gathered under a regimental standard, but 
they were at the same time singularly typical of 
the spirit that conquered a continent in three 
generations, eminently American. Probably 
such another will never be got together again; 
in no other country on earth could it have been 
mustered to-day. The cowboy, the Indian 
trailer, the Indian himself, the packer, and the 
hunter who had sought and killed the grizzly in 
single combat in his mountain fastness, touched 
elbows with the New York policeman who, for 
love of adventure, had followed his once chief 
to the war, with the college athlete, the football- 
player and the oarsman, the dare-devil moun- 
taineer of Georgia, fresh from hunting moon- 
shiners as a revenue officer, and with the society 
man, the child of luxury and wealth from the 
East, bent upon proving that a life of ease had 
dulled neither his manhood nor his sense of our 

[182] 



ROOSEVELT AND HIS MEN 

common citizenship. They did it in a way that 
was a revelation to some who under other cir- 
cumstances and in a different environment 
would have called them " dudes." In the fight 
they were the coolest and in the camp fre- 
quently the handiest of the lot. One whose 
name is synonymous with exclusiveness in New 
York's " smart set," and who for bravery in 
the face of the enemy rose to command of his 
troop, achieved among his brother officers the 
reputation of being handiest at " washing up " 
after " grub," when they had any. And it 
happened more than once on the long marches 
through the Cuban jungle, when " Roosevelt's 
Rough-Riders," compelled to campaign on 
foot, in humorous desperation had taken the 
more fitting title of " Wood's Weary Walk- 
ers" to themselves, that some Eastern-bred man 
with normal manners of languid elegance was 
able to relieve his hardier Western neighbor 
who had never walked five miles on foot in his 
life. When at the end of the march the college 
chap came trudging up cheerfully carrying 
two packs beside his own and ready for the 
chores of camp that his tired comrade might 
rest, a gap was closed then and there in our na- 

f 183 1 



THEODORE ROOSEVELT 

tional life that had yawned wider than it had 
any right to. More than all political argu- 
ments, more than all the preachments of well- 
meaning sociologists, did this brief summer's 
campaign contribute to fill out the gap between 
East and West, between North and South, be- 
tween " the classes and the masses," unless I 
greatly mistake. It was not in the contract, 
but it came out so when once they got a fair 
look at each other and saw that in truth they 
were brothers. 

There were clergymen in the ranks. I am 
not referring now to Chaplain Brown, whose 
stout defense of his Western men,— he was 
from Prescott, Arizona,— when he thought I 
was attacking them, I remember with mingled 
amusement and pleasure. He was an Episco- 
palian of no special affiliation with high-church 
or low-church tendencies within his fold. 
' You see, I don't go much on the fringes of 
religion," he said simply. He was after the 
genuine article, and he found it in his cowboy 
friends— real reverence, and such singing! He 
was holding forth to me upon this theme as we 
lay in the long grass, when I ventured to re- 
mark that I had heard that his people were 

[184] 



ROOSEVELT AND HIS MEN 

given to violence, shooting-matches, and such. 
He denied it hotly. They were the quietest, 
nicest fellows ; only once in a while, when a fel- 
low was caught cheating at cards, then — 

" But," argued the Chaplain, rising on his 
elbow and earnestly pointing a spear of grass 
he had been chewing at me, " when a man 
cheats at cards, he ought to be shot, ought n't 
he? Well, then, that is all." 

I confess to a certain enjoyment in the 
thought of Chaplain Brown's theology on a 
background of the Bough-Riders' singing at 
" meetin' " in the woods. The combination 
suggests that first funeral on the ridge at 
Guantanamo, with the marines growling out 
the responses to the Chaplain's prayer between 
pot-shots at the enemy, flat on their stomachs 
under the sudden attack; and, indeed, Colonel 
Roosevelt himself gave testimony that he had 
seen Chaplain Brown bring in wounded men 
from the field under circumstances that were 
distinctly stirring. But for all that, the Chap- 
lain is a digression. The clergymen I was 
thinking of wore no shoulder-straps. They 
carried guns. One of them came up to bid 
his Colonel good-by when I was sitting with 

[185] 



THEODORE ROOSEVELT 

him. He was tall and straight, and of few 
words. 

" That man," said Mr. Roosevelt, as he 
went across the field back to the camp, " repre- 
sents probably the very best type of our people. 
He is a Methodist preacher, of the old circuit- 
rider's stock, strong, fearless, self-reliant. His 
people had been in all our wars before him, and 
he came as a matter of course. You should 
have seen him one morning sitting in the bomb- 
proof with his head just below the traverse, 
where the shrapnel kept cracking over his hat. 
They could n't touch him, as he knew, and he 
sat there as unconcerned as if there were no 
such things as guns and battles, breaking the 
beans for his coffee with the butt of his re- 
volver. He was n't going into the fight with- 
out his coffee. He was a game preacher." 

An hour later, when, after a visit to the two 
mascots of the regiment,— Josie, the mountain 
lion, and the eagle, Jack,— I was chatting with 
Lieutenant Ferguson, a young Englishman 
who won signal distinction in battle, the flap of 
the tent was raised and a tall trooper darkened 
the entrance. He came to make a report, and 
stood silently at attention while the officer ex- 

[186] 



ROOSEVELT AND HIS MEN 

amined it. His questions he answered in mono- 
syllables. " That was Pollock," said his supe- 
rior when he was gone. " He is a full-blooded 
Pawnee. He has never anything to say, but 
you should see him in a fight. I shall never for- 
get the ungodly war-whoop he let out when we 
went up the San Juan hill. I mistrust that it 
scared the Spaniards almost as much as our 
charge did. I know that it almost took my 
breath away." 

Such was the material of which the regiment 
was made. Ninety-five per cent, had herded 
cattle on horseback, on the great plains, at some 
time or other. A majority had been under fire. 
The rifle was their natural weapon. They were 
not to be stampeded, and they knew how read- 
ily to find the range of the enemy's sharp- 
shooters, a fact that rendered them far more 
effective in a fight than the average volunteer, 
who had hardly a speaking acquaintance with 
his gun. Ninety per cent, of the Rough-Riders 
were Americans born and bred. Perhaps a 
hundred were of foreign birth— German, Nor- 
wegian, English. There were Catholics and 
Protestants, and they joined with equal fervor 
in the singing that edified Chaplain Brown. 

[187] 



THEODORE ROOSEVELT 

They stood all on the same footing. The old 
American plan ruled: every one on his merits. 
In the last batch recommended for promotion 
by Colonel Roosevelt for gallantry in the field 
was a Jew, The result of it all was a corps 
that excited the admiration of the regulars who 
fought side by side with them. 

Of their gameness innumerable stories have 
been told. The Indian Issbell was shot seven 
times in the fight at Las Guasimas, but stayed 
in the firing-line to the end. Private HefFner, 
shot through the body, demanded to be 
propped up against a tree and given his rifle 
and canteen. So fitted out, he fought on until 
his comrades charged forward and he could no 
longer shoot without danger of hitting them. 
They found him sitting there dead after the 
fight. The cow-puncher Rowland from Santa 
Fe was shot through the side and ordered to 
the rear by Colonel Roosevelt, who saw the 
blood dripping from the wound. He went 
obediently until he was out of sight, and then 
sneaked back into the ranks. After it was over 
they seized him and took him to the hospital, 
where the surgeons told him he would have to 
be shipped north. That night he escaped and 

[188] 



ROOSEVELT AND HIS MEN 

crawled back to the front as best he could. He 
fought beside his Colonel all through the San- 
tiago fight. 

It was predicted that, with their antecedents, 
the Rough-Riders could not be disciplined so 
as to become effective in the field; but exactly 
the opposite happened. They showed the 
world the new spectacle of a body of men who 
could think and yet be soldiers; who obeyed, 
not because they had to, but because it was 
right they should, and they liked to. They 
might not have been perfect in what the Chap- 
lain would have called the fringes of soldiering. 
The pipe-clay and the regulations, and all that, 
they knew nothing about. But they kept order 
in their camp, and they knew the command 
Forward, when it was given. In their brief 
campaign they had no opportunity to learn 
any other. Their soldiers' manual was brief. 
It forbade grumbling, and there was none. 
Three days they camped out in the sun and 
rain on the San Juan hills, fighting by day 
and digging burrows by night, with little to 
eat and only the ditches to sleep in, but not a 
complaint was heard. When the enemy at- 
tacked, suddenly and in full force, at three 

[189] 



THEODORE ROOSEVELT 

o'clock in the morning, they were there to meet 
him, and, hungry and shivering, drenched 
through and through by the rains and by the 
heavy dews, they drove him back. 

" That is the test," said their commander, 
speaking of it afterward: " to wake up men at 
three o'clock in the morning who have had no- 
thing to eat, perhaps for days, and nothing to 
cover them ; to wake them up suddenly to a big 
fight, and have them all run the right way ; that 
is the test. There was n't a man who went to 
the rear." 

The Rough-Riders were natural fighters, 
from the Colonel down. The science of war 
as they took it from him and practised it 
summed itself up in the simple formula to 
" strike hard, strike quick, and when in doubt 
go forward." It was so Napoleon won his vic- 
tories. But the Spaniards complained bitterly. 
The Americans did not fight according to the 
rules of war, they wailed. " They go forward 
when fired upon instead of falling back." Ac- 
cordingly they, the Spaniards, were compelled 
to run, which they did, denouncing the irregu- 
larity of the preceding. It was irregular. It 
was one of the several things in this extraordi- 

[190] 




THEODORE ROOSEVELT, COLONEL OF THE 
ROUGH-RIDERS 

PHOTOGRAPH BY PACH BROTHERS 



ROOSEVELT AND HIS MEN 

naiy war that did violence to all the traditions, 
and tangled up military precedent and red tape 
in the field in a hopeless snarl. However, 
enough remained over in camp, after the fight- 
ing was over, to more than make up for it. 

The regiment was before the people almost 
continuously for three months. Raised, or- 
ganized, equipped, and carried to Cuba within 
a month by the same splendid energy and ex- 
ecutive force that fitted out the navy for its 
victorious fights in the East and West, it took 
the field at once and kept it till the army rested 
upon its arms under the walls of Santiago. All 
the way up it had been the vanguard. The 
dispatches from the front dealt daily with 
the Rough-Riders' exploits. When, at Las 
Guasimas with General Young's corps, they 
drove before them four times their number 
of Spaniards, frightened at their impetuous 
rush in the face of a withering fire from the 
shelter of an impenetrable jungle, the croak- 
ers said that they were ambushed, and, as in the 
old days when Roosevelt led the police phalanx, 
the cry was raised at home that he should be 
put on trial, court-martialed. The fact was 
that the Rough-Riders were fighting a most 

[191] 



THEODORE ROOSEVELT 

carefully planned battle. It was the way they 
won that frightened the cravens at home, as it 
did the Spaniards. The victory cost some pre- 
cious lives, but it is at such cost that victories 
are won, and the moral effect of the attack was 
very great. Beyond a doubt it saved worse 
bloodshed later on. It has been Theodore 
Roosevelt's lot often to be charged with rash- 
ness, with what his critics in the rear are pleased 
to call his " lack of tact." It is the tribute paid 
by timidity to unquestioning courage. The 
campaign having been carefully planned, and 
General Wheeler having issued his orders to 
attack the enemy, the thing left to do was to 
charge. And they charged. The number of 
the enemy had nothing to do with it, nor the 
fact that he was intrenched, invisible, whereas 
they were exposed, in full sight. He was to be 
driven out; and he was driven out. That was 
war on the American plan, as understood by the 
Rough-Riders. 

Ten days of marching and fighting in the 
bush culminated in the storming of the San 
Juan hills, with Colonel Roosevelt in full com- 
mand, Colonel Wood having been deservedly 
promoted after Las Guasimas. The story of 

[192] 



ROOSEVELT AND HIS MEN 

the famous charge up the barren slope, of the 
splendid bravery of the colored cavalry regi- 
ment that had been lying out with the Rough- 
Riders in the trenches and now came to the sup- 
port of their chums with a rush, and of the vic- 
tory wrested from the Spaniards when all de- 
pended upon the success of the attack, will be 
told in years to come at every American fire- 
side. How much of the quick success of the 
campaign was really due to the Roosevelt 
Rough-Riders, what fates hung in the balance 
when their impetuous rush saved the day, when 
retreat had been counseled and in effect de- 
cided, we understood better as we learned the 
real state of the invading army on the night of 
June 30. Let it be enough to say that it did 
save the day. Others fought as valiantly, but 
the honor of breaking the Spanish lines belongs 
to the Rough-Riders, as the honor and credit 
of standing firmly for an immediate advance 
upon the enemy's works belongs to their Colo- 
nel and his bold comrades in the council of the 
chiefs in that fateful night. 

It was one of the unexpected things in that 
campaign, that out of it should come the ap- 
preciation of the colored soldier as man and 

[193] 



THEODORE ROOSEVELT 

brother by those even who so lately fought to 
keep him a chattel. It fell to the lot of General 
" Joe " Wheeler, the old Confederate warrior, 
to command the two regiments of colored 
troops, the Ninth and Tenth Cavalry, and no 
one will bear readier testimony than he to the 
splendid record they made. Of their patience 
under the manifold hardships of roughing it in 
the tropics, their helpfulness in the camp and 
their prowess in battle, their uncomplaining 
suffering when lying wounded and helpless, 
stories enough are told to win for them fairly 
the real brotherhood with their white-skinned 
fellows which they crave. The most touching 
of the many I heard was that of a negro trooper 
who, struck by a bullet that had cut an artery 
in his neck, was lying helpless, in danger of 
bleeding to death, when a Rough-Rider came 
to his assistance. There was only one thing to 
be done: to stop the bleeding till a surgeon 
came. A tourniquet could not be applied 
where the wound was. The Rough-Rider put 
his thumb on the artery and held it there while 
he waited. The fighting drifted away over the 
hill. He followed his comrades with longing 
eyes till the last was lost to sight. His place 

r 194 1 



ROOSEVELT AND HIS MEN 

was there; but if he abandoned the wounded 
cavalryman, it was to let him die. He dropped 
his gun and stayed. Not until the battle was 
won did the surgeon come that way; but the 
trooper's life was saved. He told of it in the 
hospital with tears in his voice: " He done that 
to me, he did ; stayed by me an hour and a half, 
and me only a nigger! " 

The colored soldiers had taken a great liking 
to their gallant side-partners. They believed 
them invincible, and in the belief became nearly 
so themselves. The Rough-Riders became 
their mascot. They would have gone through 
fire for them, and in sober fact they did. So 
fighting and burrowing together, holding every 
foot they gained from the enemy, they came at 
last to the gates of the beleaguered city, and 
there were stayed by the white flag of truce. 
Two weeks they lay in the trenches ready to 
attack when the word was given, and then came 
the surrender. Up to that point the Rough- 
Riders had borne up splendidly. Poor rations 
had no terrors for them. If " cold hog " was 
the sole item on the bill of fare, it went 
down with a toast to better days. Starva- 
tion they bore without grumbling while fight- 

[195] 



THEODORE ROOSEVELT 

ing for their lives and their country. The 
sleepless night, the rain-storms in the trenches, 
the creeping things that disgust Northern men, 
the tarantulas and the horrible crabs, they took 
as they came. It was not until they were fairly 
back home, in Camp Wikoff, that they rebelled 
against tainted food sent up from the ship and 
demanded something decent to eat. But be- 
fore that they had their dark day, when the 
fever came and laid low those whom the en- 
emy's bullets had spared. 

It was then, when the righting was over but 
a worse enemy threatened than the one they 
had beaten in his breastworks, — an ally on 
whose aid the Spaniards had openly counted, 
and, but for the way in which they were rushed 
from the first, would not have counted in vain, 
—that the Rough-Riders were able to render 
their greatest service to their country, through 
their gallant chief. Until Colonel Roosevelt's 
round-robin, signed by all the general officers 
of the army in Cuba, startled the American 
people and caused measures of instant relief to 
be set on foot, the fearful truth that the army 
was perishing from privation and fever was not 
known. The cry it sent up was: " Take us 

[196] 



ROOSEVELT AND HIS MEN 

home! We will fight for the flag to the last 
man, if need be. But now our fighting is done, 
we will not be left here to die." It was sig- 
nificant that the duty of making the unwelcome 
disclosure fell to the Colonel of the Rough- 
Riders. Of all the officers who signed it he 
was probably the youngest; but from no one 
could the warning have come with greater 
force. 

The Colonel of the Rough-Riders at the 
head of his men on San Juan hill, much as I 
like the picture, is not half so heroic a figure 
to me as Roosevelt in this hour of danger and 
doubt, shouldering the blame for the step he 
knew to be right. Perhaps it is because I know 
him better and love him so. Here was this man 
who had left an office of dignity and great im- 
portance in the Administration to go to the 
war he had championed as just and right; who 
had left a family of little children to expose his 
life daily and hourly in the very forefront of 
battle; whose every friend in political life had 
blamed him hotly, warning him that he was 
wrecking a promising career in a quixotic en- 
terprise—apparently justifying their predic- 
tions at a critical moment by deliberately shoul- 

[197] 



THEODORE ROOSEVELT 

dering the odium of practically censuring the 
Administration of which he was so recently 
a member. For that was what his letter 
amounted to; he knew it and they knew it. 
Verily, it is not strange that some who would 
[ have shrunk from the duty should call him 
" rash " for doing what he did. They did not 
know the man. It was enough for him that it 
was duty, that it was right. He never had other 
standard than that. 

So the army came home, his Rough-Riders 
with it, ragged, sore, famished, enfeebled, with 
yawning gaps in its ranks, but saved; they to 
tell of his courage and unwearying patience; 
how in the fight he was always where the bullets 
flew thickest, until he seemed to them to have 
a charmed life ; how, when it was over, as they 
lay out in the jungle and in the trenches at 
night, they found him always there, never tir- 
ing of looking after his men, of seeing that the 
wounded were cared for and the well were fed ; 
ready to follow him through thick and thin 
wherever he led, but unwilling to loaf in camp 
or to do police duty when the country was no 
longer in need of them to fight ; he to be hailed 

[198] 



ROOSEVELT AND HIS MEN 

by his grateful fellow-citizens with the call to 
" step up higher." Once more the right had 
prevailed, and the counsel of expediency been 
shamed. Roosevelt's Rough-Riders had writ- 
ten their name in history. 

" They were the finest fellows, and they were 
dead game. It was the privilege of a lifetime 
to have commanded such a regiment. It was a 
hard campaign, but they were beautiful days — 
and we won." 

We were lying in the grass at his tent, under 
the starry August sky. Taps had been sounded 
long since. The Colonel's eye wandered 
thoughtfully down the long line of white tents 
in which the lights were dying out one by one. 
From a darker line in front, where a thousand 
horses were tethered, quietly munching their 
supper, came an occasional low whinnying. 
That and the washing of the surf on the distant 
beach were the only sounds that broke the still- 
ness of the night. A bright meteor shot 
athwart the sky, leaving a shining trail, and fell 
far out beyond the lighthouse. We watched it 
in silence. I know what my thoughts were. 
He knew his own. 

[199] 



THEODORE ROOSEVELT 

" Oh, well! " he said, with a half -sigh, and 
arose, " so all things pass away. But they were 
beautiful days." 

I knocked the ashes from my cigar, and we 
went in. 



[200] 



IX 

RULING BY 
THE TEN COMMANDMENTS 



IX 

RULING BY THE TEN COM- 
MANDMENTS 

THE campaign was over and ended. 
The morning would break on Election 
Day. We were speeding homeward in 
the midnight hour on a special from the west- 
ern end of the State, where the day had been 
spent in speech-making, a hurricane wind-up 
of a canvass that had taken the breath of 
the old-timers away. Was it the victory in the 
air, was it Sherman Bell, the rough-rider de- 
puty sheriff from Cripple Creek, or what was 
it that had turned us all, young and old, into so 
many romping boys as the day drew toward 
its close? I can still see the venerable Ex-Gov- 
ernor and Minister to Spain Stewart L. Wood- 
ford, myself, and a third scapegrace, whose 
name I have forgotten, going through the 

[203] 



THEODORE ROOSEVELT 

streets of Dunkirk, arm in arm, breasting the 
crowds and yelling, " Yi! yi! " like a bunch of 
college boys on a lark, and again and again fall- 
ing into the line that passed Mr. Roosevelt in 
the hotel lobby to shake hands, until he peered 
into our averted faces and drove us out with 
laughter. And I can see him holding his sides, 
while the audience in the Opera House yelled 
its approval of Sherman Bell's offer to Dick 
Croker, who had called Roosevelt a " wild 
man": "Who is this Dick Croker? I don't 
know him. He don't come from my State. 
Let him take thirty of his best men, I don't 
care how well they 're heeled, and I will take 
my gang and we '11 see who 's boss. I 11 
shoot him so full of holes he won't know him- 
self from a honeycomb." And then the wild 
enthusiasm in the square, where no one could 
hear a word of what was said for the cheering. 
But now it was all over, and we were on the 
way home to add our own votes to the majority 
that would carry our Rough-Rider to Albany. 
We were discussing its probable size over our 
belated supper,— each according to his expe- 
rience or enthusiasm. I remember his friendly 
nod and smile my way when I demanded a 

[204] 



THE TEN COMMANDMENTS 

hundred thousand at least. He inclined to ten 
or fifteen thousand, as indeed proved quite 
near the mark; when there was a rap on the 
door, and in came the engineer, wiping his oily 
hands in his blouse, to shake hands and wish 
him luck. Roosevelt got up from the table, 
and I saw him redden with pleasure as he 
shook the honest hand and asked his name. 

" Dewey," said the engineer, and such a 
shout went up! It was an omen of victory, 
surely. 

" Dewey," said Roosevelt, " I would rather 
have you come here as you do to shake hands 
than have ten committees of distinguished citi- 
zens bring pledges of support " ; and I knew he 
would. It is no empty form with him when 
he shakes hands with the engineer and the fire- 
man of his train after a journey. He was ever 
genuinely fond of railroad men, of skilled 
mechanics of any kind, but especially of the 
men who harness the iron steed and drive it 
with steady eye and hand through the dangers 
of the night. They have something in com- 
mon with him that makes them kin. The 
pilot of the Sylph that brought us through the 
raging storm in the Sound the other day was 

[205] 



THEODORE ROOSEVELT 

of that class. They sent word from the Navy- 
Yard to meet the President that on no account 
must he proceed down the Bay to Ellis Island. 
No boat could live there, ran the message. The 
President had the pilot come down and looked 
him over. He was a bronzed sea-dog, a man 
every inch of him. 

" I have promised to go to Ellis Island; 
they are waiting for me. Can you get us 
there?" 

The pilot wiped the salt spray from his face. 
" It can't be worse than we Ve had," he said. 
" I '11 get you there." 

" Then go ahead," said Mr. Roosevelt, and 
to me, " What do you think of him? " 

" I would go with him anywhere," said I. 
" To look at him is to trust him." 

The President followed his retreating form 
up the ladder with a look that, had he seen it, 
must have made him take his ship through 
Hades itself had it been between us and Ellis 
Island. " So do I think," he said. " They are 
a splendid lot of fellows." 

But I am sailing ahead of my time. We 
were on our train just now. We did n't wake 
up, any of us, the next morning, till it rolled 

[206] 



THE TEN COMMANDMENTS 

over the Hudson at Albany, and there lay the 
Capitol, with flags flying, in full sight. Just 
as I put up my curtain and saw it, Roosevelt 
opened the door of his room and bade us good- 
morning, and eleven throats sent up three 
rousing cheers for " the Governor." 

At night we shouted again by torch-light, 
and the whole big State shouted with us. 
Theodore Roosevelt was Governor, elected 
upon the pledge that he would rule by the Ten 
Commandments, in the city where, fifteen years 
before, the spoils politicians had spurned him 
for insisting upon doing the thing that was 
right rather than the thing that was expedient. 
Say now the world does not move! It strides 
with seven-league boots where only it has a man 
who dares to lead the way. 

Not necessarily at a smooth or even gait. 
He knew what was before him, and as for the 
politicians, they were not appreciably nearer to 
the Ten Commandments than in the old days. 
They had not changed. They had fallen in 
behind Roosevelt because it was expedient, not 
because it was right. They had to win, and they 
could win only with him. And yet, when 
" Buck " Taylor in a burst of fervid frontier 

[207] 



THEODORE ROOSEVELT 

eloquence exhorted his audience to " Follow ma 
colonel! follow ma colonel! and he will lead 
you, as he led us, like lambs to the slaughter! " 
I think not unlikely there mingled with the 
cheers and the laughter the secret hope in the 
breasts of some that it might be so. It was 
but natural. They knew right well, the poli- 
ticians did, how much they had to expect from 
him ; it was but a lean two years they were look- 
ing forward to with Roosevelt as Governor. 
They might have comforted themselves in de- 
feat by the thought that he was killed and out 
of the way at last. Who knows? 

When I speak of politicians here, I am 
thinking of the spoilsmen who played the game 
for keeps. They ran the machine, and they 
took him, with their eyes open, to save it. And 
then we saw the curious sight of the good-gov- 
ernment forces, his natural allies, who were 
largely what they were because of the exam- 
ple he had all along consistently set, sulking 
disconsolate because he, who had always been 
a loyal party man without ever surrendering 
his conscience to his partisanship, went with 
his party; instead of rejoicing, as they might 
well have done, that the party had been forced 

[208] 



THE TEN COMMANDMENTS 

into making such a choice, that being the very 
end and aim and meaning of their political ex- 
istence, They grumbled because he would 
" see the party bosses." Of course he would — 
see anybody that could help him get things 
done ; for he had certain definite ends of good 
government in view, and it was no more to 
his taste to pose on the solitary peak of abor- 
tive righteousness as Governor, than it had 
been as a legislator. Yes, he would see the 
bosses, and he went right up to the front door 
and told the newspaper men his business, 
though they tried to smuggle him in secretly by 
the back way, to save his feelings. His feel- 
ings were n't hurt a bit. If he could make the 
machine work with him for good, he had killed 
two birds with one stone, for so it would be 
a more effective machine for party purposes as 
he saw them. As for its working him to its 
uses — the bosses knew better. The reformers 
did not. They sat and mourned, needlessly. 

For him— I thought more than once in those 
days of a paragraph he had written about 
practical politics while he was yet a Civil Ser- 
vice Commissioner practising them with might 
and main. How much of prophecy there is in 

[209] 



THEODORE ROOSEVELT 

his writings, when you look back now! There 
would be obstacles, he wrote. " Let him make 
up his mind that he will have to face the violent 
opposition of the spoils politician, and also, too 
often, the unfair and ungenerous criticism of 
those who ought to know better. . . . Let him 
fight his way forward, paying only so much re- 
gard to both as is necessary to help him to win 
in spite of them. He may not, and indeed 
probably will not, accomplish nearly as much 
as he would like to, or as he thinks he ought 
to ; but he will certainly accomplish something." 
He settled down courageously to the fight that 
was his own prescription. And when it was 
over, this was the judgment passed upon his 
administration in the " Review of Reviews " by 
Dr. Albert Shaw, than whom there is no fairer, 
more clear-headed critic of public events in the 
country: "He found the State administra- 
tion thoroughly political; he left it business- 
like and efficient. He kept thrice over every 
promise that he made to the people in his can- 
vass. Mr. Roosevelt so elevated and improved 
the whole tone of the State administration 
and so effectually educated his party and 
public opinion generally, that future govern- 

[210] 



THE TEN COMMANDMENTS 

ors will find easy what was before almost im- 
possible." 

That was accomplishing something, surely. 
It worked all right, then. Had some of the 
solemn head-shakers known how he enjoyed 
it all, I fear that to the inconsistent charges of 
bowing down to the idol of party and of wreck- 
ing his party, that were flung at him in the 
same breath, there would have been added 
the killing one of levity, that was not used 
up against Abraham Lincoln. I have an 
amused recollection of one band of visiting 
statesmen that filed into the Executive Man- 
sion with grave, portentous mien, just as the 
Governor and I stole down the kitchen stairs 
to the sub-cellar to visit with Kermit's white 
rats, that were much better company. The 
Governor knew their names, their lineage, and 
all their " points," which were many, according 
to Kermit. They were fully discussed before 
we returned to the upper world of stupid poli- 
tics. 

That is my opinion, anyway. I hate politics 
— I am thinking of the game again — and I 
am not going to bother with them here, if I can 
help it, which I suppose I can't since the 

[211] 



THEODORE ROOSEVELT 

Governor of the Empire State must needs be 
in politics up to his neck if he would do his 
duty; that is, he must be concerned about the 
welfare of his people rather than about putting 
his backers into fat jobs and seeing that the 
" party is made solid " in every county. But 
then, they are different brands. Roosevelt had 
his own brand from the start. Long before, 
he had identified and carefully charted it, lest 
the party managers make a mistake. " Prac- 
tical politics," he wrote," must not be construed 
to mean dirty politics. On the contrary, in the 
long run, the politics of fraud and treachery 
and foulness is unpractical politics, and the 
most practical of all politicians is the one who 
is clean and decent and upright. The party 
man who offers his allegiance to party as an 
excuse for blindly following his party, right or 
wrong, and who fails to try to make that party 
in any way better, commits a crime against 
the country." 

To this place had I come when I was asked 
to go over and tell the Young Men's Christian 
Association on the West Side what the " bat- 
tle with the slum " meant to my city. And 
I did, and when I had told them the story I 

[213] 



THE TEN COMMANDMENTS 

showed them a picture of Theodore Roosevelt 
as the man who had done more hard and honest 
fighting for those who cannot fight for them- 
selves, or do not know how, than any other man 
anywhere. And a man in the audience— there 
is always one of that kind in every audience— 
who could see in the President of the United 
States only the candidate of his party for the 
next term, wrote to me of partisanship and of 
bad taste, and of how he could not stand Roose- 
velt because as Governor he would " see Piatt," 
and did. I have his letter here before me, and 
my blood boils up in me whenever I look at it. 
Not because of the particular man and his let- 
ter. I have come across their like before. The 
thing that angers me is the travesty they make 
of the real non-partisanship with which we 
must win our fight for decency in the cities, 
because national politics in municipal elec- 
tions are a mere cloak for corruption. How in 
the world am I to persuade my healthy -minded 
Democratic neighbor not to listen to Tam- 
many's blandishments when he has this wizened 
spectacle before him? He is a man with con- 
victions, who understands men and the play of 
human forces in the world, and can appreciate 

[213] 



THEODORE ROOSEVELT 

Roosevelt for what he is and does, even if he 
disagrees with him; whereas the other never 
can. He can only " see Piatt." Verily, be- 
tween the two, give me Piatt. If he had 
horns and a spike-tail painted blue, and all 
the other parlor furnishings of the evil place, 
I think I should take my chances with him 
and a jolly old fight rather than with the shiv- 
ering visions of my correspondent who is so 
mortally afraid of the appearance of evil that 
by no chance can he ever get time to do good. 

See Piatt! Governor Roosevelt saw no end 
of people during his two years' term, and from 
some of them he learned something, and others 
learned something from him. The very first 
thing he did when he was in the Capitol at Al- 
bany was to ask the labor leaders to come up 
and see him. There were a lot of labor laws, 
so called, on the statute-books, designed to bet- 
ter the lot of the workingman in one way or 
another, and half of them were dead letters. 
Some of them had been passed in good faith, 
and had somehow stuck in the enforcement; 
and then there were others that were just 
fakes. 

" These laws," said the Governor to the la- 

[214] 



THE TEN COMMANDMENTS 

bor leaders, " are your special concern. I want 
you to look them over with me and see if they 
are fair, and, if they are, that they be fairly 
enforced. We will have no dead-letter laws. 
If there is anything wrong that you know of, 
I want you to tell me of it. If we need more 
legislation, we will go to the legislature and 
ask for it. If we have enough, we will see to 
it that the laws we have are carried out, and the 
most made of them." 

And during two years there was no disagree- 
ment in that quarter that was not gotten over 
fairly. Sometimes the facts were in dispute. 
Then he went to those who were in position 
to make them plain and asked them to do it. 
On two or three occasions he made me the 
umpire between disputing organizations and 
the Factory Department, and I had again 
a near view of the extraordinary faculty of 
judging quickly and correctly which habit and 
severe training have developed in this man. 
Cases to which I gave weeks of steady en- 
deavor to get at the truth, and then had to bring 
to him, still in doubt, he decided almost at a 
glance, piercing the husks with unerring thrust 
and dragging out the kernel that had eluded 

[215] 



THEODORE ROOSEVELT 

me. I remember particularly one such occa- 
sion when I sat on the edge of the bed in his 
room at the hotel— he had come down to New 
York to review a militia regiment — while he 
was shaving himself at the window. I had 
gone all over the case and told him of my per- 
plexity, when he took it up, and between bub- 
bles of soap he blew at me he made clear what 
had been dim before, until I marveled that I 
had not seen it. 

There came at last an occasion when nobody 
could decide. It was the factory law again 
that was in question — the enforcement of it, 
that is to say. The claim was made that it was 
not enforced as it should be. The factory in- 
spectors said they did their best. The register- 
ing alone of all the tenement-house workers, 
as the new law demanded, in a population of 
over two millions of souls with few enough 
of their tenements free from the stamp of the 
sweat-shop, was a big enough task to leave 
a margin for honest intentions even with poor 
results. But the Governor was not content 
to give his inspectors the benefit of the doubt. 
He wrote to me to get together two or three of 
the dissatisfied, a list of disputed houses, and 

[216] 



THE TEN COMMANDMENTS 

the factory inspector of the district, and he 
would come down and see for himself. 

" I think," he wrote, " that perhaps, if I 
looked through the sweat-shops myself with the 
inspectors, as well as looked over their work, 
we might be in a condition to put things on 
a new basis, just as they were put on a new 
basis in the police department after you and 
I began our midnight tours." 

I shall not soon forget that trip we took 
together. It was on one of the hottest days of 
early summer, and it wore me completely out, 
though I was used to it. Him it only gave 
a better appetite for dinner. I had picked 
twenty five-story tenements, and we went 
through them from cellar to roof, examining 
every room and the people we found there. 
They were on purpose the worst tenements of 
the East Side, and they showed us the hardest 
phases of the factory inspector's w r ork, and 
where he fell short. The rules under which 
a tenement could be licensed for home work 
required : absolute cleanliness, that there should 
be no bed in the room where the work was 
done, no outsider employed, no contagious dis- 
ease, and only one family living in the rooms. 

[217] 



THEODORE ROOSEVELT 

In one Italian tenement that had room for 
seventeen families I had found forty-three the 
winter before on midnight inspection; that is 
to say, three families in every three-room flat, 
instead of one, all cooking at the same stove. 
No doubt they were still there, but the day- 
light showed us only a few women and a lot of 
babies whom they claimed as theirs. The men 
were out, the larger children in the street. 

The Governor went carefully through every 
room, observing its condition and noting the 
number of the license on the wall, if anything 
was wrong. Sometimes there was no license. 
Sometimes one had been issued and revoked, 
but the women were still at work. They lis- 
tened to remonstrances unmoved. 

" Vat for I go avay? " said one. ' Vere I go 
den?" 

It was an intensely practical question with 
them, but so it was and is with us all; for 
from those forsaken tenements, where the home 
is wrecked hopelessly by ill-paid work that 
barely puts a dry crust into the mouths of the 
children, stalks the specter of diphtheria, of 
scarlet fever, and of consumption forth over 
the city and the land, sometimes basted in the 

[218] 



THE TEN COMMANDMENTS 

lining of the coat or the dress that was bought 
at the fashionable Broadway counter, proving 
us neighbors in very truth, though we deny 
the kinship. Roosevelt understood. His in- 
vestigations as an assemblyman into the cigar- 
makers' tenement-house conditions, and, later, 
as a member of the Board of Health, had put 
him in possession of the facts. He did not 
mince matters with the factory inspector when, 
after our completed tour, we went to his office 
late in the afternoon. There was improvement, 
he said, but not enough. 

" I do not think you quite understand," he 
said, " what I mean by enforcing a law. I 
don't want it made as easy as possible for the 
manufacturer. I want you to refuse to license 
anybody in a tenement that does not come up to 
the top notch of your own requirements. Make 
the owners of tenements understand that old, 
badly built, uncleanly houses shall not be used 
for manufacturing in any shape, and that li- 
censes will be granted only in houses fulfilling 
rigidly the requirements of cleanliness and 
proper construction. Put the bad tenement 
at a disadvantage as against the well-con- 
structed and well-kept house, and make the 

[219] 



THEODORE ROOSEVELT 

house-owner as well as the manufacturer un- 
derstand it." 

We heard the echoes of that day's work in 
the Governor's emergency message to the legis- 
lature the following winter, calling upon it 
to pass the Tenement House Commission Bill. 
He summoned " the general sentiment for de- 
cent and cleanly living and for fair play to all 
our citizens " to oppose the mercenary hostil- 
ity of the slum landlord. And the legislature 
heard, and the bill became law, to the untold 
relief of the people. That was a sample of the 
practical politics in the interest of which he was 
willing to " see " the party managers, if it was 
needed. And it usually ended with their see- 
ing things as he did. 

It seemed fair and just to the Governor that 
corporations with valuable franchises should be 
taxed on these, since they were much more 
valuable property than their real estate. It 
was one way, to his mind, of avoiding crank 
legislation designed merely to " hit money." 
The party managers disagreed. The Gov- 
ernor had thought it all out; to him it was 
just, even expedient as a party measure. He 
invited the corporation people to come and see 

[220] 




MRS. THEODORE ROOSEVELT 

FROM THE PORTRAIT BY THEOBALD CHARTRAX 
PHOTOGRAPH COPYRIGHT 1902 BV FRANCES B. JOHNSTOX 



THE TEN COMMANDMENTS 

him about it, that they might talk it over. They 
did n't ; they conspired with the party mana- 
gers to bury the bill in committee in the legis- 
lature. When the Governor sent an emer- 
gency message to wake it, they tore it up. The 
next morning another message was laid upon 
the Speaker's desk. 

" I learn," it read, " that the emergency mes- 
sage which I sent last evening to the Assembly 
on behalf of the Franchise Tax Bill has not 
been read. I therefore send hereby another. 
I need not impress upon the Assembly the 
need of passing this bill at once. ... It estab- 
lishes the principle that hereafter corporations 
holding franchises from the public shall pay 
their just share of the public burden." 

The bill was passed, The party managers 
" saw." The corporations did, too, and asked 
to be heard. They were heard. The law was 
amended at an extra session, but the principle 
stood unaltered. Since then the Court of Ap- 
peals has declared it constitutional and good, 
and not only the State of New York, but the 
whole country thanks Governor Roosevelt for 
a piece of legislation that makes for the per- 
manent peace of our land. There can never 

[221] 



THEODORE ROOSEVELT 

be other basis for that than the absolute as- 
surance that all men, rich and poor, are equal 
before the law. Trouble is sure to come, 
sooner or later, where money can buy special 
privilege. The marvel is that those who have 
the money to buy, cannot half the time see it. 
I am tempted to tell the story of how Roose- 
velt appointed the successor of Louis F. Payn, 
Superintendent of Insurance, and made one 
more mortal enemy. That was one of the times 
he " saw " Senator Piatt, whose lifelong po- 
litical friend Payn was. But what would be 
the use? None to my correspondent who 
knows it all, yet does not understand. All the 
rest of us have it by heart. And it would be 
politics, which I said I would eschew. It was 
politics for fair, for all the power of the ma- 
chine, all of it and more, was opposed to the 
Governor in his determination to displace this 
man. But Roosevelt was right, and he won. 
Let that be the record. When he was 
gone from Albany the oldest lobbyist, starved 
though he was, had to own that Roosevelt 
fought fair, always in the open. His recourse 
was to the people, and that was how he 
won,— even in the matter of the civil service 

[222] 



THE TEN COMMANDMENTS 

bill, in which he trod hard on the toes of 
the politicians. We had a law, but they had 
succeeded in " taking the starch out of it." 
Roosevelt put it back. I think no man living 
but he could have done it. But they realized 
that they could not face him before the peo- 
ple on that, of all issues. And to-day my 
State has a civil service law that is as good 
as it can well be made, and we are so much 
better off. 

I never liked Albany before, but I grew to 
be quite fond of the queer old Dutch city on the 
Hudson in those two years. It is not so far 
away but that I could run up after office hours 
and have a good long talk with the Governor 
before the midnight train carried me back 
home. Sometimes it was serious business only 
that carried me up there. I am thinking just 
now of the execution of Mrs. Place, who had 
murdered her stepdaughter and tried to brain 
her husband. It was a very wicked murder, 
but there was something about the execution 
of a woman that stirred the feelings of a lot 
of people, myself included. Perhaps it was 
largely a survival of the day of public hang- 
ings, which is happily past. But, more than 

[223] 



THEODORE ROOSEVELT 

that, I had a notion that it would hurt his ca- 
reer. I think I told of it in " The Making of 
an American " when it was all long over. I 
certainly did not tell him. I knew better. But 
I argued all through a long evening into the 
midnight hour, until I had to grab my hat and 
run for the train, that he should not permit it. 
I argued myself to an absolute stand-still, for 
I remember his saying at last impatiently : 

" If it had only been a man she killed— but 
another woman!" and I, exasperated and il- 
logical: "Anyway, you are obliged to admit 
that she tried hard enough to kill a man." 

After I got back home he sent me a letter 
which I may not print here. But I shall hand 
it down to my children, and they will keep it as 
one of the precious possessions of their father, 
long after I have ceased to live and write. 
One sentence in it I have no right to withhold, 
for it turns the light on his character and way 
of thinking as few things do : 

" Whatever I do, old friend, believe it will be 
because after painful groping I see my duty 
in some given path." 

So it was always with him. His duty was 
made clear when the commission of experts he 

[224] 



THE TEN COMMANDMENTS 

had appointed reported that Mrs. Place was as 
sane and responsible as any of them, and pub- 
lic clamor had no power to move him from it. 
I like to set over against her case another 
in which my argument prevailed, for it shows 
the man's heart, which he had often no little 
trouble to hide under the sternness imposed by 
duty. I knew the soreness of it then by the 
joy I saw it gave him to make people happy. 
Policeman Hannigan had been sent to Sing 
Sing for shooting a boy who was playing foot- 
ball in the street on Thanksgiving Day. He 
ran, and the policeman, who had been sent with 
special orders to clear the ball-players out of 
the block, where they had been breaking win- 
dows, ran after him. In the excitement of the 
chase he fired his pistol, and the bullet struck 
and slightly wounded the boy in the leg. The 
policeman was " broken " and sent to the peni- 
tentiary, and of the incident we made a mighty 
lever in the fight for playgrounds where the 
boys might play without breaking either win- 
dows or laws. And then I thought of the po- 
liceman in the prison, a young man with a wife 
and children and a clean record till then, and 
I asked the Governor to pardon him. Of 

[225] 



THEODORE ROOSEVELT 

course he had not meant to shoot; he was car- 
ried away, and now he had been punished 
enough. I have preserved the Governor's an- 
swer that came by next day's mail. It was 
written on the last day of the year 1899: 

" Dear Jake: 

" Happy New Year to you and yours, and 
as a New Year's gift take the pardon of the 
policeman Hannigan. The papers were for- 
warded to the prison this morning. 

" Ever yours, 
" Theodore Roosevelt." 

And so one man who that day was without 
hope started fair with the new year. 

I wish I might go on and write indefinitely 
of those days and what they were to me: Of 
that dinner-party to some foreign visitors into 
which I, taking tea peacefully with Mrs. 
Roosevelt and the children, was suddenly cata- 
pulted by the announcement that through an 
unexpected arrival there would be thirteen at 
the table, a fact which would be sure to make 
some one of the guests uncomfortable, and at 
which the Governor kept poking quiet fun at 

[ 226 ] 



THE TEN COMMANDMENTS 

me across the table, until I warned him with a 
look that I might even betray his perfidy, if 
he kept it up. Of how I kept admiring the 
Executive Mansion because Cleveland had 
lived in it, till he took me to the Capitol and 
showed me there the pictures of all his prede- 
cessors except Cleveland, who was stingy, he 
said, and wouldn't give the State his. Whereat 
I rebelled loudly, maintaining that it was mod- 
esty. Of the mighty argument that ensued,— 
a mock argument, for in my soul I knew that 
he thought as much of Cleveland as did I. Of 
these things I would like to tell, for they make 
the picture of the man to me, and perhaps I can 
smuggle it in later. But here, I suppose, I 
ought to remember the Governor, and there- 
fore I shall not do as I would otherwise. 

When I look back now to the day when he 
stood in the Assembly Chamber, with the oath 
of office fresh upon his lips, and spoke to his 
people, there comes to me this sentence from 
his speech: "It is not given to any man, nor 
to any set of men, to see with absolutely clear 
vision into the future. All that can be done 
is to face the facts as we find them, to meet 
each difficulty in practical fashion, and to strive 

[227] 



THEODORE ROOSEVELT 

steadily for the betterment both of our civil and 
social conditions." 

Truly, if ever man kept a pledge, he kept 
that. He nursed no ambitions ; he built up no 
machine of his own. He was there to do his 
duty as it was given to him to see it, and he 
strove steadily for the betterment of all he 
touched as Governor of the State that was 
his by birth and long ancestry, even as his 
father had striven in his day and in his sphere. 
He made enemies— God help the poor man 
who has none ; but he kept his friends. When 
he was gone, a long while after, my way led 
me to Albany again. I had not cared much for 
it since he went. And I said so to a friend, 
an old State official who had seen many gov- 
ernors come and go. He laid his hand upon 
my arm. 

" Yes," said he, " we think so, many of us. 
The place seemed dreary when he was gone. 
But I know now that he left something behind 
that was worth our losing him to get. This 
past winter, for the first time, I heard the ques- 
tion spring up spontaneously, as it seemed, 
when a measure was up in the legislature: 
'Is it right?' Not 'Is it expedient?' not 

[228] 



THE TEN COMMANDMENTS 

* How is it going to help me? ' not ' What is it 
worth to the party? ' Not any of these, but 
'Is it right?' That is Roosevelt's legacy to 
Albany. And it was worth his coming and his 
going to have that." 

So that was what we got out of his term as 
Governor— all of us, for the legacy is to the 
whole land, not only to my own State. As for 
him, all unconscious of it, he had been learning 
to be President, the while he taught us Henry 
Clay's lesson that there is one thing that is 
even better than to be President, — namely, to 
be right. 



[229] 



X 

THE SUMMONS ON MOUNT MARCY 



X 

THE SUMMONS ON MOUNT MARCY 

ON that summer day, three years ago, 
I when the Republican party nomi- 
nated Theodore Roosevelt for Vice- 
President, I was lying on my back, stricken 
down by sudden severe illness. My wife had 
telegraphed to him that I longed to see him; 
but in the turmoil of the convention the mes- 
sage did not get to him till the morning after 
the nominations were made. He came at once 
from Philadelphia, and it was then that I, 
out of pain and peril, heard from his own lips 
the story of his acceptance of the new dignity 
his countrymen had thrust upon him. "Thrust 
upon " is right. I knew how stoutly he had 
opposed the offer, how he had met delega- 
tion after delegation with the frank avowal 
that he could serve the party and the country 

[233] 



THEODORE ROOSEVELT 

better as Governor of New York, and I knew 
that that was his ambition; for his work at 
Albany was but half finished. It was his desire 
that the people should give him another term 
in his great office, unasked, upon the record of 
the two years that were drawing to a close. He 
had built up no machine of his own. He had 
used that which he found to the uttermost of its 
bent, and of his ability, — not always with the 
good will of the managers ; but he had used it 
for the things he had in mind, telling the bosses 
that for all other legitimate purposes, for or- 
ganization, for power, they might have it: he 
should not hinder them. Now, upon this rec- 
ord, with nothing to back him but that, he 
wished the people to commission him and his 
party to finish their work. It was thoroughly 
characteristic of Roosevelt and of his trust in 
the people as both able and willing to do the 
right, once it was clearly before them. 

He knew well enough what was on foot con- 
cerning him. He was fully advised of the 
plans of his enemies to shelve him in the 
" harmless office " of Vice-President, and how 
they were taking advantage of his popu- 
larity in the West and with the young men 

[234] 



THE SUMMONS ON MOUNT MARCY 

throughout the land to " work up " a strenuous 
demand for him to fill the second place on the 
ticket. So, they reasoned, he would be out of 
the way for four years, and four years might 
bring many things. As Vice-President he 
would not be in 1904 anything like the candi- 
date before the people which two years more as 
Governor of the Empire State would make 
him. Back of the spoils politicians were the 
big corporations that had neither forgotten nor 
forgiven the franchise-tax law that made them 
pay on their big dividend-earning properties, 
as any poor man was taxed on his home. Any- 
thing to beat him for Governor and for the 
Presidency four years hence ! The big traction 
syndicates in the East made the pace: Roosevelt 
for Vice-President ! He was not deceived ; but 
the plotters were. Their team ran away with 
them. The demand they desired came from 
the West and swept him into the office. From 
perhaps one State in the East and one in the 
West it was a forced call. From the great 
and bounding prairies, from the rugged moun- 
tain sides, and from the sunny western slope of 
the Rockies, where they knew Roosevelt for 
what he was, and loved him; from the young 

[235] 



THEODORE ROOSEVELT 

men everywhere, from the men with ideals, it 
was a genuine shout for the leader who spoke 
with their tongue, to their hearts. Senator 
Wolcott spoke their mind when he brought him 
the nomination: " You, everywhere and at all 
times, stood for that which was clean and up- 
lifting, and against everything that was sordid 
and base. You have shown the people of this 
country that a political career and good citizen- 
ship could go forward hand in hand. . . . There 
is not a young man in these United States who 
has not found in your life and influence an in- 
centive to better things and higher ideals." 
Against such a force traditions went for no- 
thing; it was strong enough to break more 
stubborn ones than that which made of the 
Vice-Presidency a political grave. In 1904 it 
was to be Roosevelt for President. 

Roosevelt yielded. His friends were in de- 
spair; his enemies triumphed. At last they 
had him where they wanted him. 

Man proposes, but God disposes. Now in 
joy, and again in tears and sorrow, do we reg- 
ister the decree. One brief year, and the nation 
wept at the bier of William McKinley. Of 
his successor the President of Columbia Col- 

[ 936} 



THE SUMMONS ON MOUNT MARCY 

lege wrote: " He was not nominated to satisfy 
or placate, but to succeed. The unspeakably 
cruel and cowardly assassin has anticipated the 
slow and orderly processes of law." 

He himself, standing within the shadow of 
the great sorrow — though, light of heart, we 
knew it not — spoke these brave words to his 
people: " We gird up our loins as a nation with 
the stern purpose to play our part manfully in 
winning the ultimate triumph; and therefore 
we turn scornfully aside from the paths of 
mere ease and idleness, and with unfaltering 
steps tread the rough road of endeavor, smit- 
ing down the wrong and battling for the right, 
as Greatheart smote and battled in Bunyan's 
immortal story." * 

The campaign of that year none of us has 
forgotten. An incident of it lives in my mem- 
ory as typical of the spirit in which the people 
took his candidacy, and also with a sense of 
abiding satisfaction that one thing was done 
right, and at the right moment, in my sight. 
I was coming up from Chatham Square one 
night in the closing days of the canvass, when 

1 The concluding words of Vice-President Roosevelt's speech 

at the Minnesota State Fair, Minneapolis, Sept. 2, 1902. 

[237] 



THEODORE ROOSEVELT 

a torch and a crowd attracted me to a truck 
at the lower end of the Bowery, from which 
a man was holding forth on the issues involved 
in the national election. He was not an effec- 
tive speaker, and the place needed that, if any 
place did. The block was " the panhandlers' 
beat," one of the wickedest spots in the world, 
I believe. I stood and listened awhile, and the 
desire to say a word grew in me until I climbed 
on the wagon and, telling them I was a Roose- 
velt man, asked for a chance. They were will- 
ing enough, and, dropping tariff and the " hon- 
est dollar " that had very little to do with that 
spot, I plunged at once into Roosevelt's ca- 
reer as Governor and Police Commissioner. 
I thought with grim satisfaction, as I went on, 
that we were fairly within sight of " Mike " 
Callahan's saloon, where the fight over the ex- 
cise law was fought out by Policeman Bourke, 
who dragged the proprietor, kicking and 
struggling all the way, to the Elizabeth Street 
station. He had boasted that he had thrown 
the keys of the saloon away, and that no one 
could make him close on Sunday. Bourke was 
made a sergeant, and Roosevelt and the law 
won. 

[238] 



THE SUMMONS ON MOUNT MARCY 

But of that I made no boast then. I told the 
people what Roosevelt had done and had tried 
to do for them; how we had traveled together 
by night through all that neighborhood, trying 
to enter into the life of the people and their 
needs. As the new note rose, I saw the tene- 
ment blocks on the east of the Bowery give up 
their tenants to swell the crowd, and was glad. 
Descrying a policeman's uniform on its out- 
skirts, I reminded my hearers of how my candi- 
date had stood for an even show, for fair play 
to the man without a pull, and for an honest 
police. I had got to that point when the 
drunken rounder who by right should have ap- 
peared long before, caromed through the 
crowd and shook an inebriated fist at me. 

" T-tin s-soldier! " he hiccoughed. " Teddy 
Ro-senfeld he never went to Cu-u-ba, no 
more 'n, no more 'n— " 

Who else it was that had never been to Cuba 
fate had decreed that none of us should know. 
There came, unheralded, forth from the crowd 
a vast and horny hand that smote the fellow 
flat on the mouth with a sound as of a huge 
soul-satisfying kiss. He went down, out of 
sight, without a word. The crowd closed in 

[239] 



THEODORE ROOSEVELT 

over him; not a head was turned to see what 
became of him. I do not know. Who struck 
the blow I did not see. He was gone, that was 
enough. It was enough, and just right. 

Which reminds me of another and very dif- 
ferent occasion, when I addressed a Sunday- 
evening audience in the Cooper Institute at the 
other end of the Bowery upon my favorite 
theme. The Cooper Institute is a great place, 
a worthy monument to its truly great founder. 
But its Sunday-evening meetings, when ques- 
tions are in order, have the faculty of attract- 
ing almost as many cranks as did Elijah the 
Restorer to Madison Square Garden. I had 
hardly finished when a man arose in the hall 
and, pointing a menacing finger at me, 
squeaked out : 

6 You say Theodore Roosevelt is a brave 
man. How about his shooting a Spaniard in 
the back? " 

I had been rather slow and dull up till then, 
in spite of my theme ; but the fellow woke me 
right up. My wife, who had come over with 
me and sat in the audience, said afterward that 
she never saw a man bristle so suddenly in 
her life. 

[240] 




THEODORE ROOSEVELT AS VICE-PRESIDENT 

COPYRIGHT, 1901, BY ARTHUR HEWITT 



THE SUMMONS ON MOUNT MAKCY 

" The man," I cried out, " who says that is 
either a fool or a scoundrel. Which of the two 
are you? " 

I don't believe he heard. His kind rarely do. 
They never by any chance get any other side 
of a subject than their own, for they never 
can shake themselves off for a moment. He 
stood pointing at me still: 

" Does not Holy Writ say, ' Thou shalt not 
kill? ' " he went on. 

" Yes! and on the same page does it not say 
that ' Thou shalt not bear false witness against 
thy neighbor,' even if he is the President of 
the United States?" 

The audience by this time was upon its feet, 
yelling its delight. It was what it wanted. 
The crank sat down. In the front row a red- 
faced Irishman jumped up and down like a 
jack-in-the-box, wildly excited. 

" You let him alone," he shouted to the peo- 
ple, shaking his hat at them; "let Professor 
Riis alone. He can take care of himself. 
Teddy Roosevelt is the greatest man in the 
country" ; and, turning half toward me, he shot 
up a fist like a ham and, grabbing mine, yelled 
out, " I druv him oncet! " 

[241] 



THEODORE ROOSEVELT 

Crank after crank got up with their ques- 
tions, and as I looked out over them bobbing 
in the amused crowd like corks on a choppy 
sea, there came into my head Solomon's pre- 
cept to answer a fool according to his folly. 
The President's first message was just out. 

" How shall we interpret it? " queried a pe- 
dantic spectacled loon, with slow deliberation 
checking the points off on his fingers; " shall 
we class it as an economic effort or as a political 
discourse, as a literary production or as a—" 

" The President's message," I interrupted, 
" has just been rendered into the language of 
the blind, and they don't have any difficulty in 
making it out." 

The meeting broke up in a great laugh, amid 
a storm of protests from the cranks whose fun 
was spoiled. They were not looking for in- 
formation. They had come merely to hear 
themselves talk. 

I guess it is no use beating about the bush, 
telling stories; I have to come to it. But I 
have n't got over the shock the news from Buf- 
falo gave me up there in the Canadian wilder- 
ness. I hate to think of it. 

Roosevelt had gone to join his children in 

[242] 



THE SUMMONS ON MOUNT MARCY 

the Adirondacks, with the assurance of the doc- 
tors that President McKinley was mending, 
and in no danger. He had come straight to 
Buffalo at the first news of the murderous at- 
tempt upon the President's life, thereby giving 
great offense to the faultfinders, who could see 
in the Vice-President's solicitude for his friend 
and chief only a ghoulish desire to make sure 
of the job. And now, when he went with 
lightened heart to tell his own the good news, 
they cried out in horror that he went hunting 
while the President lay fighting death. They 
were as far from the truth then as before. He, 
knowing little and caring less what was said of 
him, was resting quietly with his wife and the 
children, who had been sick, at the Upper 
Tahawus Club on Mount Marcy. No one in 
that party had thought of hunting or play. 
Their minds were on more serious matters. It 
was arranged that they were all to go out of 
the woods on Saturday, September 14, on 
which day Mr. Roosevelt had summoned his 
secretary to meet him at his Long Island home. 
He had come from Buffalo only two days be- 
fore. Friday found them all upon the moun- 
tain: the Vice-President, Mrs. Roosevelt, and 

[243] 



THEODORE ROOSEVELT 

their nephews, the two Robinson boys, and Mr. 
James McNaughton, their host. Ted,, the 
oldest of the Roosevelt boys, had gone fish- 
ing. The rest, with two guides, formed the 
party. 

Ear up the mountain side there lies a 
pretty lake, the " Tear in the Clouds," whence 
the Hudson flows into the lowlands. There the 
party camped after a long and arduous tramp 
over the mountain trail. Mrs. Roosevelt had 
gone back with the children. From his seat on 
a fallen log Roosevelt followed the gray out- 
lined Mount Marcy's bald peak piercing mist 
and cloud. Up there might be sunshine. 
Where they were was wet discomfort. A desire 
grew in him to climb the peak and see, and he 
went up. But there was no sunshine there. 
All the world lay wrapped in a gray, impene- 
trable mist. It rained, a cold and chilly rain 
in the clouds. 

They went down again, and reached the 
wood-line tired and hungry. There they spread 
their lunch on the grass and sat down to it. 
Upon the quiet talk of the party there broke 
suddenly an unusual sound in that quiet soli- 
tude, the snapping of a twig, a swift step. A 

[244] 



THE SUMMONS ON MOUNT MARCY 

man came out of the woods, waving a yellow 
envelope in his hand. 

Silence fell upon them all as they watched 
Mr. Roosevelt break it and read the message. 
It was brief: " The President's condition has 
changed for the worse. — Cortelyou." That 
was all. He read it over once, twice, and sat 
awhile, the message in his hand, grave shadows 
gathering in his face. Then he arose, the food 
untouched, and said briefly: " I must go back 
at once." 

They fell in behind him on the homeward 
trail. Silent and sad, the little procession 
wound its way through the gloomy forest. 
Dusk was setting in when they reached the 
cottage. No news was there. The Vice- 
President's secretary, warned in the early 
morning by despatches from Buffalo, had 
started for the mountains on a special train, 
but the road ended at North Creek, more than 
thirty miles away, and from there he had been 
telegraphing and telephoning all day that he 
would wait till Mr. Roosevelt came. Of this 
nothing was known on the mountain. The 
telephone line ended at the lower club-house 
—ten miles farther down, and the messages 

[ 245 ] 



THEODORE ROOSEVELT 

lay there. No one had thought of sending 
them up. 

Mr. Roosevelt sent runners down at once to 
find out if there was any summons for him, 
and made ready for an immediate start before 
he changed his clothing. He was wet through. 
The dusk became darkness, and the hours wore 
far into the evening. He walked up and down 
alone in front of the cottage, thinking it all 
over. It could not be. He had arranged to 
be advised at once of the least change, and no 
word had come. Up to that morning all the 
bulletins were hopeful. There must be some 
awful mistake. Black night sat upon the 
mountain and no message yet. He went in to 
snatch such sleep as he could get. Too soon 
he might need it. 

In the midnight hour came the summons. 
Mr. McNaughton himself brought the mes- 
sage: " Come at once." In ten minutes Mr. 
Roosevelt threw his grip into the buckboard 
that was hurriedly driven up, and gave the 
word to go. 

How that wild race with death was run and 
lost— for before it was half finished President 
McKinley had breathed his last, and there was 

[246] 



THE SUMMONS ON MOUNT MARCY 

no longer any Vice-President hastening to his 
bedside— will never be told. But for a fright- 
ened deer that sprang now and then from the 
roadside, stopping in the brush to watch wide- 
eyed the plunging team and the swaying lan- 
tern disappear in the gloom, no living thing 
saw it. The two in the wagon — the man on the 
driver's seat and the silent shape behind him 
— had other thoughts: the one for the rough 
trail which he vainly tried to make out through 
the mist ; at any moment the wheels might leave 
their rut or crash against a boulder, and team 
and all be flung a hundred feet down a 
precipice. As for the other, his thoughts were 
far away at a bedside from which a dying man 
was whispering words of comfort to his weep- 
ing wife. Mechanically, when the driver 
turned to him with warning of the risks they 
were taking, he repeated, as if he had scarcely 
heard: " Go on— go right ahead! " 

The new day was an hour old and over when 
the vehicle stopped at the lower club-house, 
mud-splashed from hub to hood. Here Mr. 
Roosevelt heard for the first time from his 
secretary, who had watched sleepless at the 
other end of the wire, the tragedy then pass- 

[247] 



THEODORE ROOSEVELT 

ing into history in the city of Buffalo. Secre- 
tary Loeb knew the dangers of the mountain 
roads on a dark and rainy night, and pleaded 
with him to wait till morning. 

" I will come right through, as quick as 
I can," was the answer he received ; and before 
he could ring the telephone bell, Mr. Roosevelt 
was in his seat again, and the horses were 
plunging through the night toward the distant 
railroad. 

Down hill and up, through narrow defiles, 
over bare hillsides where the wheels scraped 
and slid upon the hard rock and the horses' 
hoofs struck fire at every jump; on perilous 
brinks hidden in the shrouding fog, and ten- 
fold more perilous for that ; now and then a bog- 
hole through which the wheels of the buckboard 
sank to the hubs; past a little school-house 
where a backwood's dance was just breaking 
up, the women scattering in sudden fright as 
the traveler drove by. Then the wayside hotel 
with waiting horses in relay, and two thirds of 
the way was covered. 

Once more the gloom and the forest; once 
more the grim traveler gazing ahead, ahead, as 
if he would pierce the veil of fate and wrest 

[248] 



THE SUMMONS ON MOUNT MARCY 

from it its secret, repeating his monotonous 
"Go on! Keep right ahead!" In the city 
by the lake William McKinley lay dead. 
Through the darkness rode the President, 
clinging obstinately to hope. 

So the dawn came. As the first faint tinge 
of it crept into the night, and trees and rocks 
whirling past took on dim outlines, the steam- 
ing horses drew up at the railroad station at 
North Creek, where a puffing engine had been 
in waiting many hours. From the platform 
Secretary Loeb came down, bareheaded: 

" The worst has happened," he said. " The 
President is dead." 

So, to this man, who had been tried and found 
faithful in much, came the call to take his 
place among the rulers of the earth. 



[249] 



XI 
WHAT HE IS LIKE HIMSELF 



XI 
WHAT HE IS LIKE HIMSELF 

NOW that by good luck I have after 
all presented in something like orderly 
fashion the main facts in Theodore 
Roosevelt's career, — of which every one knows 
more or less, and which he regards as more or 
less significant, according to his attitude to- 
ward the old college professor's prediction, 
many years ago, that his students might rate 
our people's fitness for self-government by the 
headway Roosevelt made with his ideals and 
ambitions— now that we have got so far, I can 
hear my reader ask: "But about himself; 
about the man, the friend? You promised to 
tell us. We want to know." And so you shall. 
I am going to tell you now,— at least, I am go- 
ing to try. Here, a whole week, have I been 
walking about the garden, upon which winter 

[ ^53 ] 



THEODORE ROOSEVELT 

had laid its rude hand and put all the flowers to 
sleep; only the wild thyme I brought down 
from the Berkshire Hills stands green and fra- 
grant, as does the sunny field where I dug it, 
in my memory ever. A whole week have I 
walked about among the bare bushes, poking 
in the dead leaves, trying to think how. Some- 
thing very learned and grand had come into 
my head. But how can you analyze your 
friend? Men's minds and men's motives you 
may analyze, if you care and have a taste 
that way,— and a pretty mess you will make of 
it more than half the time. But resolve a sun- 
beam, or a tear, into its original elements, and 
what do you get? So much oxygen, perhaps; 
so much salt— let the chemist tell in his learned 
phrase ; and when all is told your sunbeam and 
your tear have escaped you. Whatever else you 
have, them you have not. No, I shall not try 
that. I shall tell you of him just as I knew 
him. I like him best that way, anyhow, — just 
as he is. 

But first let me give fair warning: if there 
be any among my readers still-hunting for 
special privilege, let him get off right here; 
for he won't like him. Whether it be the Trust 

[254] 



WHAT HE IS LIKE HIMSELF 

that has nothing to conceal,— dear me, no! 
— yet most strenuously objects to the public 
knowing about its business; the corporation 
with franchises paying big dividends but no 
taxes; the labor leader who has stared himself 
blind upon the dividends, and to whom the 
pearly gates shall not swing unless they have 
the union label on them; or the every-day dolt 
who must have the railroad track between him- 
self and his brother of darker skin, of different 
faith or tongue or birthplace; who, like the 
woman of the Four Hundred in Philadelphia, 
"must be buried in St. Peter's churchyard 
because, really, on resurrection day she must 
rise with her own set " — whichever his own 
particular folly in this land of no privilege 
and of an equal chance, and wherever found, 
he will be against Roosevelt, instinctively and 
always. He will fight him at the polls and in 
the convention; he w T ill bet his money against 
him, and pour it out like water across every 
party line that held him before, and by the 
measure of his success we can grade our own 
grip on the ideal of the Republic. That was 
what the professor I spoke of meant, and he 
was right. And so are they, according to their 

[ 255 ] 



THEODORE ROOSEVELT 

light. Roosevelt is their enemy, the enemy 
forever of all for which they stand. 

Because he stands for fair play ; for an even 
chance to all who would use it for their own 
and for their country's good; for a broad 
Americanism that cares nothing for color, 
creed, or the wherefrom of the citizen, so that, 
now he is here, he be an American in heart and 
soul; an Americanism that reaches down to 
hard-pan. ' Ultimately," he said at Grant's 
Tomb, when Governor of New York,—" ulti- 
mately, no nation can be great unless its great- 
ness is laid on foundations of righteousness 
and decency." And at Syracuse on Labor 
Day I saw ten thousand stirred by his words: 
" If alive to their true interests, rich and poor 
alike will set their faces like flint against the 
spirit which seeks personal advantage by over- 
riding the laws, whether that spirit shows itself 
in the form of bodily violence by one set of 
men or in the form of vulpine cunning by 
another set of men." These are his profes- 
sions. I know how they square with his prac- 
tice, for I have seen the test put to him a hun- 
dred times in little things and in great, and 
never once did he fail to ask the question, if 

[256] 



WHAT HE IS LIKE HIMSELF 

there was any doubt about it, after all was said 
and done, " Which is right? " And as it was 
answered, so was the thing done. 

His ambition? Yes, he has that. Is it to 
be President? He would like to sit in the 
White House, elected by the people, for no 
man I ever met has so real and deep a belief 
in the ultimate righteousness of the people, in 
their wish to do the thing that is right, if it can 
be shown them. But it is not that. If I know 
anything of the man, I know this : that he would 
fight in the ranks to the end of life for the 
things worth fighting for, rather than reach 
out a hand to grasp the Presidency, if it were 
to be had as the price of one of the principles 
upon which his life has been shaped in the sight 
of us all. He might, indeed, quarrel with the 
party of a lifetime, for he would as little sur- 
render his conscience to a multitude of men as 
to one, 1 and he has said that he does not num- 
ber party loyalty with the Ten Commandments, 
firmly as he holds to it to get things done. 
Party allegiance is not a compelling force with 
him; he is the compelling force. " I believe 

1 Gov. Roosevelt's speech to the West Side Republican Club, 

New York, March, 1899. 

[257] 



THEODORE ROOSEVELT 

very firmly," he said to the State Bar Asso- 
ciation in New York, in 1899, " that I can best 
render aid to my party by doing all that in me 
lies to make that party responsive to the needs 
of the people; and just so far as I work along 
those lines I have the right to challenge the 
support of every decent man, no matter what 
his party may be." That is his platform, 
always was. In matters of mere opinion I can 
conceive of his changing clear around, if he 
were shown that he was wrong. I should ex- 
pect it ; indeed, I do not see how he could help 
it. It was ever more important to him to 
be right, and to do right, than to be logical and 
consistent. 

And that really is his ambition, has been 
since the day he rose in the Assembly Hall at 
Albany and denounced the conspirators of his 
own party and of the other to their faces: to 
do the right, and to so do it in the sight of his 
fellow-men that they shall see that it is the 
right and follow it ; that the young, especially, 
shall make the high and the right choice at the 
beginning of life that puts ever more urgent 
questions to the succeeding generations. That 
is the mainspring and the motive. " Because 

[258] 



WHAT HE IS LIKE HIMSELF 

he thinks he is so much better than all the rest?" 
I can hear my cynical neighbor ask. No, but 
because to him life is duty first, always ; because 
it gave him certain advantages of birth, of edu- 
cation, of early associations for which he owes 
a return to his day and to his people. I wish 
to God more of us felt like that; for until we 
do our Republic will be more of a name and 
of an empty boast than we have any right to 
let it be. Sometimes, when, in the effort of 
class privilege to assert itself here as every- 
where, the fear comes over me that it will not 
last, I find comfort in the notion that it has 
hardly yet begun, and that it cannot be that 
He in whose wise purpose men must grow 
through struggling, will let it pass so soon. 
A hundred years of the Republic, and we are 
only beginning to understand that what it was 
meant to mean, and alone can be made to mean, 
is opportunity; that the mere fact of politi- 
cal freedom is in itself of little account, but 
can be made of ever so much; that different 
levels there will be in a democracy as in a mon- 
archy, but not of rank nor, indeed, of wealth, 
though for a while it may seem so; but ac- 
cording to our grasp of the idea of the respon- 

[259] 



THEODORE ROOSEVELT 

sibilities of citizenship and its duties and stan- 
dards. There is the cleavage, and his is the 
highest level who would serve all the rest. 
Service to his fellow-men: that is the key-note 
to Roosevelt's life, as faith in the Republic and 
love of country are its burning fire. Well did 
President Eliot, when lie bestowed upon him 
the degree of his Alma Mater, call him a " true 
type of the sturdy gentleman and high- 
minded public servant in a democracy." 

There! I freed my mind, anyhow. I was 
thinking, when I spoke of consistency, of the 
fellows who mistake stubbornness for princi- 
ple, and what a beautiful mess they make of it. 
There came one of that kind to the Board of 
Health in Brooklyn, and wanted his landlord 
compelled to put a broken window-pane in. 
The landlord said it was not in the lease and he 
would n't do it. And for two weeks his wife 
had been sleeping under it, in danger of pneu- 
monia every hour of the night. 

" But," said they, " have you let her sleep 
there all this time without putting in the 
pane? " 

" Yes, sir! " said he. " Yes, sir! I did it on 
principle ! " 

[260] 



WHAT HE IS LIKE HIMSELF 

But about himself. You know how he looks. 
To my mind, he is as handsome a man as I ever 
saw ; and I know I am right, for my wife says 
so too, and that settles it. Which reminds me 
of the time I lectured in a New York town with 
a deaf man in the audience who was no friend 
of Roosevelt. The chairman introduced me 
with the statement that he had heard that the 
Governor called me " the most useful man in 
New York." My friend with the ear-trumpet 
did n't quite catch it, and was in high dud- 
geon after the meeting. 

" Did n't I tell you Teddy Roosevelt ain't 
got no sense? " he cried. " The idea of calling 
that man Riis the most beautiful man in New 
York! Why, he is as plain as can be." 

By handsome I do not mean beautiful, 
but manly. Stern he may, indeed, appear at 
times, though to my mind nearly all his por- 
traits do him hideous injustice in that respect. 
I have seen but two that were wholly himself. 
One was a pen sketch of him on horseback at 
the head of his men, climbing some mountain 
ridge. There he had on his battle face, the 
dark look I have seen come in the middle of 
some pleasant chat with gay friends. I knew 

[261] 



THEODORE ROOSEVELT 

then that he was alone and that the burden was 
upon him, and I felt always as if, upon some 
pretext, any pretext, I would like to get him 
away where he could be by himself for a while. 
The other, curiously, was an old campaign pos- 
ter from the days when he ran for Governor. 
It hung over my desk till the boys in the office, 
who used to decorate the volunteers' slouch-hat 
with more bows than a Tyrolese swain ever 
wore to the village fair, made an end of it, to 
my great grief. For it was the only picture 
of him I ever saw that had the smile his friends 
love. There was never another like it. And 
it is for them only. I have come into a room 
packed full of people crowding to speak with 
him, and seen it light up his face as with a 
ray of sunshine from a leaden sky, and his hand 
go up in the familiar salute I meet out West 
nowadays, but nowhere else. Odd how peo- 
ple, even those who should know him well, can 
misunderstand. " I saw him several times in 
Colorado," wrote one who likes him, after his 
recent Western trip, " and he pleased me very 
much by his growing tenderness toward men 
and animals. His chief weakness has always 
seemed to me his almost cruel strength." To 

[262] 



WHAT HE IS LIKE HIMSELF 

me he has always seemed as tender as a woman. 
Perhaps they had been on the hunting-trail 
together; or on one of his long Washington 
walks that were the terror of his friends. I 
am told they lay awake nights, some of them, 
trembling for fear he might pick them out 
next. 

By contrast there comes to me the recollec- 
tion of a walk we took together in the woods 
out at Oyster Bay. It was after I had been 
sick, and some one had told him that I could not 
walk very fast, and must not, any more. So 
I infer; for we had not gone five furlongs at 
the old clipping gait, he a little ahead, thrash- 
ing through the bushes, when he suddenly came 
back and, taking my arm, walked very slowly, 
telling me something with great earnestness, 
to cover up his remorse. I have never any- 
where met a man so anxiously considerate of a 
friend's weakness as he ever was and is, though 
happily in this instance there was no need of it. 
I have been learning to ride these days, and 
ride hard, to show him, and also to have the 
fun of going out with him again. I cannot 
think of anything finer. 

It seems to me, when I think back now, that 

[263] 



THEODORE ROOSEVELT 

all the time I have known him, with all the 
burden and care of such a career as his on his 
shoulders, he was forever planning some kind 
act toward a friend, carrying him and his con- 
cerns with him incessantly amid the crowding 
of a thousand things. His memory is some- 
thing prodigious. I happened once to mention 
to him that when next I came to Washington 
I would bring my little boy. 

" And don't forget," I said, " when you see 
him to ask if he goes regularly to Sunday- 
school." To his laughing inquiry I made an- 
swer that the lad would occasionally be tempted 
by the sunshine and some game up by the golf - 
grounds, whereupon I would caution him to 
keep his record clear against the day when he 
would see the President, who, being the boys' 
as well as the papas' President, would natu- 
rally ask him if he " went regular." And of 
course he must back me up in this; for little 
boys remember, too. The thing had long since 
gone out of my head when I brought Vivi to 
the White House; but not so with him. He 
took him between his knees and asked him, first 
thing, if he went to Sunday-school like a good 
boy; and so the day and my reputation were 

[264] 



WHAT HE IS LIKE HIMSELF 

saved, and the boy made happy; for he had 
kept his slate clean. 

It was at that visit that, after a thorough in- 
spection of the premises, the President asked 
the lad what he thought of the White House. 

" Pretty good," said he. " But I like better 
to ride up and down in the elevator at the 
hotel." It was his first experience with an 
elevator, and he made full use of it. 

The President considered him thoughtfully 
a moment. What visions of politicians and 
delegations passed before his mind's eye I 
know not; but it was with almost a half -sigh 
that he said: " So would I, my boy, sometimes." 

That slouch-hat of his, by the way, at which 
some folks took umbrage, at the Philadelphia 
Convention, I don't believe he gave as much 
thought to, in all the years he wore it, or 
one like it, as did those good people in the three 
or four days of the convention. He did not 
wear it because the rough-riders did, but be- 
cause it is his natural head-gear. He began 
it in Mulberry Street, and he has kept it up 
ever since. He hates a stovepipe, and so do 
I; but I thought to honor him especially one 
day, when I was going traveling with him, by 

[265] 



THEODORE ROOSEVELT 

putting on mine ; and all I got for it was, when 
General Greene got into the carriage with a 
straw hat on, a deep sigh of relief and an 
" Oh, I am so glad you did n't come in a 
top-hat," with a malicious gleam toward me. 
, Next time I leave it home. Perhaps it was to 
pay me for being late. He had arranged to 
pick me up at my home station, when going 
through to the city ; but his train was a full half- 
hour ahead of time, and who could have fore- 
seen that ? What other President, do you sup- 
pose, would have waited fifteen minutes at the 
depot with his special train while he sent up 
to the house for me, and then received me with 
a laugh? 

That was characteristic of him, both the 
waiting and the being ahead of time. It was 
night, and there was nothing on the road to 
hinder, so he just slammed through. In that 
also he is a typical American in the best 
sense : given a thing to be done, he makes sure 
of the way and then goes ahead and does it. 
" The way to do a thing is to do it," might be 
his motto ; it certainly is his way. But the man 
who concludes from that that he runs at it head- 
long makes the mistake of his life. I know ab- 

[266] 



WHAT HE IS LIKE HIMSELF 

solutely no man who so carefully weighs all 
the chances for and against, ever with the one 
dominating motive in the background — " Is it 
right? "— to steer him straight. In the Police 
Department he surprised me over and over 
again by his quick grasp and mastery of 
things until then foreign to his experience. 
He would propose some action and turn it over 
to me for review because I had been there 
twenty years to his one ; and I would point out 
reefs I thought he had forgotten. But not he ; 
he had charted them all, thought of every con- 
tingency, and done it all in an hour, when I 
would be poring over the problem for days, 
perhaps weeks. And when it had all been gone 
over he would say: 

" There! we will do it. It is the best we can 
do. If it turns out that there is anything 
wrong, we will do it over again." But I do not 
remember that he ever had to. 

Mere pride of opinion he has none. No one 
ever estimated his own powers, his own capa- 
cities, more modestly than he. Something I 
said one day brought this matter up, and few 
things have touched me as did the humility with 
which this strong man said: " I know the very 

[267] 



THEODORE ROOSEVELT 

ordinary kind of man I am to fill this great 
office. I know that my ideals are common- 
place. I can only insist upon them as funda- 
mental, for they are that. Not in the least doing 
anything great, I can try, and I am trying, 
to do my duty on the level where I am put, 
and, so far as I can see the way, the whole 
of it." And I thought of his talk to the New 
York Chamber of Commerce on the " homely 
virtues " as a solvent of our industrial and 
other problems, and his counsel to every good 
citizen to be able and willing to " pull his own 
weight." He has to pull the weight of all of 
us along with his own. If these plain sketches 
help some who do not know him to make out 
how patiently, how thoughtfully he labors at 
it, how steadfastly he is on guard, I shall be 
glad I wrote them. 

As I am writing this now, there comes to 
mind really the finest compliment I ever heard 
paid him, and quite unintentionally. The lady 
who said it was rather disappointed, it seemed. 
She was looking for some great hero in whom 
to embody all her high ideals, and, said she, 
" I always wanted to make Roosevelt out that; 
but, somehow, every time he did something that 

[268] 



WHAT HE IS LIKE HIMSELF 

seemed really great it turned out, upon look- 
ing at it closely, that it was only just the right 
thing to do/ J I would not want a finer thing 
said of me when my work is done. I am glad 
I thought of it, for I know that he would not, 
either. And it comes as near as anything 
could to putting him just right. 

Perhaps a good reason why he grasps things 
so quickly and correctly is that he looks for 
and tries to get at the underlying principles of 
them; deals with them on the elementary basis 
of right and fitness, divested of all the con- 
ceit and the flummery which beset so many 
things that come to the Executive of a great 
nation. I had gone out to see him at Oyster 
Bay, heavy with the anxieties of mothers all 
over the land who had sons soldiering in the 
Philippines. There was news of fighting every 
day, but only the names of the killed or 
wounded officers came by cable. There was a 
War Department order against sending those 
of the privates who fell, or who died of cholera ; 
and it resulted that when, say, Company H 
of the Fifteenth Regiment had been in a battle, 
every mother who had a boy serving in that 
command went shivering with fear for six long 

[269] 



THEODORE ROOSEVELT 

weeks before the mails brought word whether 
her boy was among the " thirteen private sol- 
diers " who fell, or not. I had been asked 
to put the case to the President, and get him 
to cut the red tape, if possible; but, against 
expectation, I found a tableful of soldiers and 
statesmen at lunch, and I saw clearly enough 
that it would be hard to get the President's 
ear long enough. 

But, as luck would have it, I was put beside 
General Young, fine old warrior, whom I had 
met before, and I told him of what was on 
my heart. He knew of no such order when he 
was in the Philippines, and we got into quite 
a little argument about it, which I purposely 
dragged out till there was a lull in the talk at 
the President's end of the table, and I saw him 
looking my way. I asked him if he knew of 
the order. 

" What order? " said he; and I told him— 
told him of the mothers fretting for their boys 
all over the land. He looked up quickly at 
Adjutant-General Corbin, who sat right op- 
posite. It was what I wanted. He knew. 

" General," said Mr. Roosevelt, " is there 
such an order? " 

[270] 



I 




THEODORE ROOSEVELT AT SAGAMORE HILL 

PHOTOGRAPH BY ARTHUR HEWITT 



WHAT HE IS LIKE HIMSELF 

" Yes, Mr. President," said he; " there is." 

" Why? " President Roosevelt wastes few 
words when in earnest about anything. 

General Corbin explained that it was a 
measure of economy. The telegraph tolls 
were heavy. An officer had a code word, just 
one, to pay for, whereas to send the whole 
name and place of a private soldier under 
the Pacific Ocean might easily cost, perhaps, 
twenty-five dollars. The President heard him 
out. 

" Corbin," he said, " can you telegraph from 
here to the Philippines? " 

The General thought he might wait till he 
got to Washington; he was going in an hour. 

" No," said the President; " no, we will not 
wait. Send the order to have the names tele- 
graphed, now. Those mothers gave the best 
they had to their country. We will not have 
them breaking their hearts for twenty-five dol- 
lars or for fifty. Save the money somewhere 
else." 

And he sent one of his rare smiles across 
the table, that made my heart light, and many 
another, from Maine to Texas. The order 
went out from the table, then and there, and, 

[271] 



THEODORE ROOSEVELT 

before we had finished our luncheon, was speed- 
ing under the sea to the far East. 

I was an unintentional listener that day to 
the instructions Generals Young and Corbin 
received for their interview with Emperor Wil- 
liam; they were about to go abroad. I doubt 
if ever greeting from the Executive of one 
great country to the head of another was more 
informal than that, and, equally, if there ever 
was a heartier. 

" Tell him," said the President,—" tell the 
Emperor that I would like to see him ride at 
the head of his troops. By George, I would! 
And give him my hearty regards. Some day 
we shall yet have a spin together." 

I hope they may. Those who know Mr. 
Roosevelt and have met the Emperor say 
that in much they are alike: two strong, mas- 
terful young men of honest, resolute purpose, 
and the faith in it that gets things done. 
But they face different ways: the one toward 
the past, with its dead rule " by the grace of 
God " ; the other to the light of the new day 
of the living democracy that in its fullness shall 
make of the man a king in his own right, by 
his undimmed manhood, please God. 

[272 3 



WHAT HE IS LIKE HIMSELF 

I am told that the generals carried out their 
instructions in the spirit in which they were 
given, to the great delight of the Emperor, who 
asked General Corbin if he had ever before 
been in Germany. The General said not in 
that part of it. 

" Which part, then? " asked the Emperor. 

" In Cincinnati and St. Louis, your Maj- 
esty," responded the General, and the Em- 
peror laughed till his sides shook. His brother 
had told him about those cities. 

We went home in the same train, and Gen- 
eral Young and I sat together in the car. I 
had been reading the " Sunday-school Times," 
and it lay on the opposite seat so that the Gen- 
eral could read the title. He regarded it 
fixedly for a while, then poked it cautiously 
with the end of his stick, as who should say, " I 
wonder — now — what — " I read him like a 
book, fighting-man to the finger-tips that he 
is, but said nothing until curiosity got the bet- 
ter of him and he asked some question about 
it. Then I reached out for the paper. 

" Oh, yes, General! This is the paper for 
you. See here," — and I pointed to a column 
telling of all the big fighters in the Old 

[273] 



THEODORE ROOSEVELT 

Testament, the Maccabees and the rest, with 
their battles in chronological order, and what 
they were about. The old warrior's eyes 
kindled. 

"Well, I never! " he said, and took the paper 
up with an evident respect that contrasted com- 
ically with his gingerly way of before. The 
General of the Army will forgive me for telling 
on him. He has my heartiest friendship and 
regard. I expect to see him yet conduct a 
Sunday-school on Maccabean lines, and we 
shall all be glad. For that is what we and the 
Sunday-school want. 

But though ordinarily President Roosevelt 
is the most democratic of men, he does not lack 
a full measure of dignity when occasion re- 
quires it. The man whom I had seen telling 
stories of his regiment to a school full of little 
Italian boys in the Sullivan Street slum, had, 
a little while after the interview with the gen- 
erals, to receive a delegation from the French 
people, and it happened that one of the guests 
of that day was present. He told me that he 
never was prouder of the President and of his 
people than when he saw him meet the distin- 
guished strangers. And so were they. They 

[274] 



WHAT HE IS LIKE HIMSELF 

spoke of it as the honor of a lifetime to be re- 
ceived by President Roosevelt. 

It is just the human feeling that levels all 
differences and makes kin of all who have 
claim to the brotherhood ; searches out and lays 
hold of the good streak in man wherever it is 
found. It accounts for the patience I have 
known him to exercise where no one would have 
expected it; and it accounts, to my way of 
thinking, for the friendships that have existed 
between him and some men as far from his 
way of thinking in all other respects as one 
could well imagine. I know. I ever had a 
soft spot for " Paddy " Divver, with whom 
I disagreed in all things that touched his pub- 
lic life as fundamentally as that was possible. 
But there was a mighty good streak in " Pad- 
dy," for all his political ill-doings. As a police 
judge he came as near doing ideal justice in 
all matters that had nothing to do with politics 
as any man who ever sat on the bench, and he 
was not bothered in his quest by the law half 
as much. I remember— but no, " Paddy " 
is dead, and the story shall remain untold. 
Some would not understand; but I did, for 
I had in mind the Kadi administering justice 

[275] 



THEODORE ROOSEVELT 

in the gate, and this fellow needed that kind 
if the law was powerless to reach him. 

I told the President when, at his recent visit 
to Ellis Island, he had personally heard the 
case of a woman detained under the rules, but 
whom my friend on the police bench would 
have discharged with a ten-dollar bill in her 
pocket, that his judgment was almost equal to 
" Paddy's," whereat he laughed in amusement, 
for our dealings—" Paddy's " and mine— had 
been the cause of his poking fun at me be- 
fore. But when I told him of what befell me in 
Chicago on a visit there, he said he should 
presently have to cut my acquaintance, and 
I was bound to agree with him. I had gone 
to the ball of the Hon. Bath-house John's con- 
stituents, to see the show ; and when their great 
leader heard of my being from New York, 
nothing was too good for me. Evidently, 
he took me for " one of the b'ys," for when 
the champagne had opened wide the flood- 
gates of liberality and companionship, he ad- 
dressed me confidentially in this wise: 

" B'y, the town is yours! Take it in. Go 
where ye like; do with it what ye like. And 
if ye run up against trouble— ye know, the 

[276] 



WHAT HE IS LIKE HIMSELF 

b'ys will have their little scrap with the police— 
come to me for bail — any crime! any crime! " 

Say not that the freedom of the city by the 
lake has not been conferred upon me. It has. 
Even Mayor Harrison will have to own it. 

But this chapter has outrun its space, and I 
have n't yet said what I had in mind concerning 
Theodore Roosevelt. I will drop reminis- 
cences and settle right down to it now. 



[277] 



XII 
THE DESPAIR OF POLITICIANS 



XII 
THE DESPAIR OF POLITICIANS 

WE had been summoned to the White 
House, my wife and I. I say, 
" summoned " on purpose, because 
we had carefully avoided Washington; it was 
enough for us to know that he was there. But 
he would not have it, and wrote threateningly 
that he would send a posse if we did n't come. 
So we went. I do not think I ever saw a 
prouder woman than my wife when the 
President took her in to dinner. I heard her 
ask him if her smile reached from ear to ear 
because she felt like it. And I was proud 
and glad, for so it seemed to me that she had 
at last come to her rights, and I where there 
was nothing more to wish for. But withal 
I felt a bit unhappy. I had thought to do 
him the highest honor I could by wearing the 

[281] 



THEODORE ROOSEVELT 

cross King Christian gave me, but it turned out 
that among the dozen diplomats and other 
guests no one wore any decoration save my- 
self, and I did n't like it. The President saw, 
I think, that I was troubled, and divined the 
reason in the way he has. He slipped up be- 
hind me, at the first chance, and said in my ear : 
" I am so much honored and touched by your 
putting it on for me." So he knew, and it was 
all right. The others might stare. 

It is just an instance of the loyalty that is 
one of the traits in the man which bind you to 
him with hoops of steel once you are close to 
him. It takes no account of condition in life : 
good reason why his Rough-Riders worshiped 
the ground he trod on. When they ate bacon 
and hard- tack, that was his fare; and if there 
was any better to be had, they shared even. It 
was that trait that came out in him the night 
a half-witted farmer drove to Sagamore Hill 
on purpose to shoot him. He was in the li- 
brary with Mrs. Roosevelt when the voice of 
the fellow, raised in angry contention with the 
secret service guard under the trees, attracted 
his attention. He knew the officer was alone, 
out of ear-shot of the others down at the barn, 

[282] 



THE DESPAIR OF POLITICIANS 

and he acted at once upon the impulse to go to 
his aid. Before Mrs. Roosevelt could put in 
a word of warning, he was out on the veranda 
in the moonlight, his white shirt bosom making 
a broad target for the frenzied man who had 
a cocked pistol in the buggy. He whipped up 
his horse when he saw the President, and made 
straight for him, but before he had gone a step 
the secret service man had him down and safe. 
I joined Mrs. Roosevelt the next day in de- 
manding the President's promise that he would 
not do it again, and he gave it good-humoredly, 
insisting that he had been in no danger. " But," 
said he, " he was fighting my fight, and he was 
alone. Would you have had me hide, with 
him, perhaps, one against two or three? " It 
was a hard question to answer. We could 
only remind him that he was the President, 
and not simply Theodore Roosevelt, and had 
the whole country to answer to. 

I think I never knew a man who so utterly 
trusts a friend, once he has taken him to his 
heart. That he does not do easily or offhand; 
but once he has done it, there is no reservation 
or secret drawback to his friendship. It is a 
splendid testimony to the real worth of human 

[283] 



THEODORE ROOSEVELT 

nature that his trust has rarely indeed been be- 
trayed. Once his friend, you are his friend 
forever. To the infallible test he rings true: 
those who love him best are those who know 
him best. The men who hate him are the 
scalawags and the self-seekers, and they only 
distrust him who do not know him. He never 
lost a friend once made. Albert Shaw 
summed it all up in a half -impatient, wholly af- 
fectionate exclamation when he was telling me 
of a visit he had made to Washington to re- 
monstrate with the President. 

" I never knew a man," he said, " to play so 
into the hands of his enemies. He has no 
secrets from them; he cannot bear a grudge; 
he will not believe evil; he is generous and fair 
to everybody; he is the despair of his friends. 
And, after all, it is his strength." 

And the reason is plain. Had I not known 
him, I would have found it long ago in his insis- 
tence that the America of to-day is better than 
that of Washington and Jefferson. A man 
cannot write such things as this he wrote of 
Lincoln without meaning every word of it and 
acting it out in his life : 

" The old-school Jeffersonian theorists be- 

[284] 



THE DESPAIR OF POLITICIANS 

lieved in a strong people and a weak govern- 
ment. Lincoln was the first who showed how 
a strong people might have a strong govern- 
ment and yet remain the freest on earth. He 
seized, half unwittingly, all that was best in the 
traditions of Federalism. He was the true suc- 
cessor of the Federal leaders, but he grafted on 
their system a profound belief that the great 
heart of the nation beats for truth, honor, and 
liberty." 

Now do you wonder that he is the despair- 
ing riddle of the politicians the land over, the 
enemy, wherever they meet, of all the af ter-us- 
the-deluge plotters? They have not the key 
to the man; and if they had, they would not 
know how to use it. The key is his faith that 
the world is growing better right along. In 
their plan, it may go to the devil when they 
have squeezed it for what there is in it for 
them. They can never comprehend that the 
man who believes in the world growing better 
helps make it better, and so, in the end, is 
bound to win ; or why he is closer to the people 
than any man since Lincoln's day. It is all a 
mystery and a nuisance to them, and I am 
glad it is. 

[285] 



THEODORE ROOSEVELT 

Speaking of Lincoln, one of the few times I 
have seen Roosevelt visibly hurt was when 
some yellow newspaper circulated the story 
that he had had Lincoln's portrait taken from 
the wall in the White House and hung in the 
basement, and had his own put up in its place. 
Ordinarily he takes no notice of attacks of 
that kind, except to laugh at them if they are 
funny; but this both hurt and saddened him, 
for Lincoln is his hero as he is mine. It was 
at the time the White House was undergoing 
alterations, and the pictures were hung in the 
basement to preserve them, or there would have 
been no pictures by this time. Some of the old 
furniture was sent away and sold at auction, 
as it had to be, there being no other legal way 
of disposing of it. Even the chairs in the 
cabinet-room his official family had to buy at 
five dollars each, when they wanted them as 
keepsakes. Among the things that went to the 
auction-shop was a sideboard from the din- 
ing-room, and promptly the report was circu- 
lated that it had been presented by the tem- 
perance women of Ohio to Mrs. Hayes, and 
that President Roosevelt had sold it to a 
saloon-keeper. Resolutions began to come 

[286] 



THE DESPAIR OF POLITICIANS 

from Women's Christian Temperance Union 
branches East and West until Secretary Loeb 
published the facts, which were these: that no 
sideboard had ever been presented to Mrs. 
Hayes, but an ice-pitcher with stand, long 
since placed in a Cincinnati museum, where 
it now is. The sideboard was a piece of fur- 
niture bought in the ordinary avenues of trade 
during President Arthur's term, and of no 
account on any ground. But long after the 
true story had been told the resolutions kept 
coming; for all I know, another one is being 
prepared now in some place which the lie on its 
travels has just reached. 

I know what it was that hurt, for I had seen 
Roosevelt recoil from the offer to strike an 
enemy in the Police Department a foul blow, 
as from an unclean thing, though that enemy 
never fought fair. He does. " I never look 
under the table when I play," he said, when 
the spoilsmen beset him in their own way at 
Albany; " they can beat me at that game every 
time. Face to face, I can defend myself and 
make a pretty good fight, but any weakling can 
murder me. Remember this, however, that 
if I am hit that way very often, I will take to 

[287] 



THEODORE ROOSEVELT 

the open, and the blows from the dark will only 
help me in an out-and-out fight." " Clean as a 
hound's tooth," one of his favorite phrases, 
fits himself best. It was the showing that 
an honest man's honest intentions were not 
accepted at their face value that saddened and 
hurt, for it smudged the ideal on which he 
builds his faith in his fellow-man. 

It was only yesterday that a friend told me 
of an experience he had at Albany while Roose- 
velt was Governor. He was waiting in the Ex- 
ecutive Chamber with, as it happened, a man 
of much account in national politics, a Federal 
office-holder occupying a position second to 
none in the land in political influence. The 
gentleman had come to Albany to press legis- 
lation for good roads, being interested in the 
manufacture of bicycles or automobiles, I for- 
get which. While they waited, in came the 
Governor. There were but two other persons 
in the room, an old farmer and his daughter, 
evidently on a holiday. They were looking at 
the pictures with much interest. Mr. Roosevelt 
went over to them and engaged them in con- 
versation, found out where they were from, 
said he was glad to see them, and pointed out 

[288] 



THE DESPAIR OF POLITICIANS 

one or two of the portraits especially worth 
seeing. Then he shook hands and bade them 
come back as often as they pleased. It was 
clear that they did not know who the friendly 
man was. When they went out he came 
straight across to the Federal official. 

" Now, Mr. ," he said, shaking his fin- 
ger at him, " the legislature has appropri- 
ated every cent it is going to this year for good 
roads, and nothing you can say will change 
their minds or mine on that subject. So you 
can save yourself the trouble. It is no use." 
And, turning to my friend, " Do you wish to 
see me ? " But his amazement was so great that 
he said no, making up his mind on the spot to 
talk to the Governor's secretary. The official 
had gone away at once. 

I recommend this anecdote to the special pe- 
rusal of the friends who think Roosevelt is 
playing to the galleries when he hails the plain 
man cordially. He does it because he likes 
him. They might have seen him one day in 
an elevated car, when we were riding together, 
get up to give his seat to a factory-girl in a 
worn coat. I confess that I itched to tell her 
who he was, but he let me have no chance. 

[289] 



THEODORE ROOSEVELT 

We were talking about a public institution I 
wished to see reformed, and he was anxious 
to know if there was any way in which he could 
help. " If there is," he said, " let me." But 
there was not, and I was sorry for it; for the 
matter concerned the growing youth and the 
citizenship of to-morrow, and I knew how near 
his heart that lay. 

I have been rambling along on my own plan 
of putting things in when I thought of them, 
and I cannot say that I feel proud of the re- 
sult; but if from it there grows a person- 
ality whose dominating note is utter simplicity, 
I have not shot so wide of the mark, after all. 
For that is it. All he does and says is to be 
taken with that understanding. There again 
is where he unconsciously upsets all the schemes 
and plots of the politicians. They don't under- 
stand that " the game can be played that 
way," and are forever looking for some ulterior 
motive, some hidden trap he never thought of. 
Bismarck, it is said, used to confound his ene- 
mies by plumping out the truth when, accord- 
ing to all the rulers of the old-school diplo- 
macy, he should have lied, and he bagged them 
easily. Roosevelt has one fundamental convic- 

[290] 



THE DESPAIR OF POLITICIANS 

tion, that a frank and honest man cannot in the 
long run be entangled by plotters, and his life 
is proving it every day. To say that the world 
can be run on such a plan is merely to own that 
the best there is in it, the cynics to the contrary 
notwithstanding, is man himself, which is true 
and also comforting in the midst of all the 
trickery contrived to disprove it. 

It was the simplest thing in the world, when 
the nation was justly up in arms about the 
KishinefF atrocity, to do what Roosevelt did, 
and that was why he did it. Friends from all 
over wrote to me to warn the President not to 
get into trouble with Russia by mixing up in 
her domestic troubles. Mischief would be sure 
to come of it. The Czar would n't receive the 
Jews' petition, in the first place, and we would 
have to take a rebuke if we tried to send it. 
But the President did not need my advice or 
theirs. I laughed when I read in the paper 
how he cut that Gordian knot that was so full of 
evil omen: merely telegraphed the whole peti- 
tion to the American minister in St. Peters- 
burg, with orders to lay it before the Czar and 
ask whether he would receive it if transmitted 
in the usual way. To which the Czar returned 

[291] 



THEODORE ROOSEVELT 

a polite answer, as he was in duty bound, that 
he would not; but he had received it, all of it, 
and the results were not long in showing them- 
selves. 1 For days the cables had groaned under 
guarded threats of what would happen if we 
tried to send the petition over, and that was 
what happened ! 

Perhaps it is in a measure this very unex- 
pectedness—more pity that it is unexpected— 
of method that is no method, but just common 
honesty, that has got abroad among people 
the notion that he is a man of impulse, not 
of deliberate, thoughtful action. More of it, 
probably, is due to his quick energy that sizes 
things up with marvelous speed and accuracy. 
In any event, it is an error which any one can 
make out for himself, if he will merely watch 
attentively what is going on, and what has been 
going on since Roosevelt came prominently 
into the public eye. What position did he ever 
take hastily that had to be abandoned, ready 
as he would have been to quit it had he been 
shown that he was wrong? He shut the saloons 
as Police Commissioner, since the law he had 

1 What they will amount to or how long they will last is another 
matter. The Muscovite is a slippery customer. 
[ 292 ] 



THE DESPAIR OF POLITICIANS 

sworn to enforce demanded it. And though 
politicians claimed that he alienated support 
from the administration he stood for, he taught 
us a lesson in civic honesty that will yet bear 
fruit; for while politics are allowed to play 
hide-and-seek with the majesty of the law, 
that majesty is a fraud and politics will be un- 
clean. As Health Commissioner he gave the 
push to the campaign against the old murder- 
ous rookeries that broke the slum landlord's 
back; abuse and threats were his reward, but 
hope came into the lives of two million souls 
in my city, and all over the land those who 
would help their fellow-men took heart of hope 
because of what he did. He offended a thou- 
sand spoilsmen as Civil Service Commissioner, 
and earned the gratitude and confidence of a 
Democratic President; but who now who has 
sense would have had him do otherwise? 

He compelled the corporations to pay just 
taxes, and though they swore to knife him 
for it, the Court of Appeals has said it was fair 
and just. I have heard some people blaming 
him hotly for interfering in the anthracite coal 
strike. Their cellars were full of coal that 
winter, but their factory bunkers were not; 

[293] 



THEODORE ROOSEVELT 

and, singularly, I remember some of those very- 
men, when their pocket-books were threatened, 
predicting angrily that " something would 
happen " if things were not mended. And in 
that they were right; something would have 
happened. Perhaps that was a reason why 
he interfered. However, I shall come back to 
that yet. But where is there to-day a cloud on 
the diplomatic horizon because of the " impul- 
siveness " of the young man in the White 
House? When were there so cordial relations 
with the powers before — with England, with 
France, with Germany that sends the Presi- 
dent's personal friend to represent her here? 
Does any one imagine William of Germany 
seeks personal advantage in that? Then he 
is not as smart as the emperor. For the first 
time in the memory of diplomats, I imagine, 
they are able to discuss things, up at the White 
House, just as they are; yet they don't take a 
trick, and they know it. 

Roosevelt is as far as possible from being 
rash. When people say it I am always re- 
minded of the difference between the Danish 
word rash and the English rash. Rash means 
quick, resolute. That is what he is. He ar- 

[894] 



THE DESPAIR OF POLITICIANS 

rives at a conclusion more quickly than any one 
I ever knew; but he never jumps at it. He 
has learned how to use his mind, and all of it, 
that is why. " I own," writes a friend to me 
from Ohio, " that he has been right so far 
every time. But next time where will we find 
him? " Learn to think a thing out, as he does; 
and when you have done it, ask yourself, 
: ' Which, now, is right? " and you will know. 
Watch and you will see that the real difference 
between his critics and him is this: they chase 
all round the compass for some portent of 
trouble " if they do this or do that," and in 
the end throw themselves headlong on some 
course that promises safety; whereas, he goes 
calmly ahead, seeking the right and letting 
troubles take care of themselves if they must 
come. That is the quality of his courage which 
some good people identify as a kind of fight- 
ing spunk that must be in a broil at regular 
intervals. I do not suppose there is a less emo- 
tional man in existence than Secretary Root 
of the War Department. He was the only one, 
the newspapers said, in the cabinet who would 
not give five dollars for his chair as a souvenir. 
He could put the money to better use, and he 

[295] 



THEODORE ROOSEVELT 

did n't need the chair. But when he came to 
take leave of Roosevelt, this is what he wrote: 
" I shall carry with me unabated loyalty to 
your administration, confidence in the sound 
conservatism and patriotic unselfishness of 
your policy, . . . and I shall always be happy 
to have been a part of the administration 
directed by your sincere and rugged adhe- 
rence to right and devotion to the trust of 
our country.' ' Blame me for partiality, if 
you will, but against Secretary Root the 
charge does not justly lie. He just spoke the 
truth. 

Verily, I think that were the country to be 
called upon to-morrow to vote for peace or for 
war, his voice would be for peace to the last 
hour in which it could be maintained with 
honor. Slower than Lincoln would he be to 
draw the sword. But once drawn for justice 
and right, I should not like to be in its way, 
nor should I be lazy about making up my mind 
which way to skip. I remember once when I 
got excited— over some outrage perpetrated 
upon American missions or students in Turkey, 
I think. It was in the old days in Mulberry 
Street, and I wanted to know if our ships 

[296] 



THE DESPAIR OF POLITICIANS 

could not run the Dardanelles and beard the 
Turk in his capital. 

" Ah," put in Colonel Grant, who was in the 
Police Board, " but those forts have guns." 

" Guns! " said Roosevelt; nothing more. It 
is impossible to describe the emphasis he put 
upon the word. But in it I seemed to hear De- 
catur at Tripoli, Farragut at Mobile. Guns! 
The year after that he was busy piling up 
ammunition at Hongkong. They had guns 
at Manila, too. And Dewey joined Decatur 
and Farragut on the record. 

I said Roosevelt had learned to use all of his 
mind. To an extraordinary degree he pos- 
sesses the faculty of concentrating it upon the 
subject in hand and, when it has been disposed 
of, transferring it at will to the thing next in 
order, else he could not have written important 
historical works while he was Police Com- 
missioner and Governor. Whether this is all 
the result of training, or a faculty born in him, 
I do not know. Napoleon had the same gift. 
I have sat with Mr. Roosevelt in his room at 
Police Headquarters and seen him finish his 
correspondence, dispose of routine matters in 
hand, and at once take up dictation of some 

[297] 



THEODORE ROOSEVELT 

magazine article, or a chapter in one of his 
books where he left off the day before. In five 
minutes he would be deep in the feudal days, 
or disentangling some Revolutionary kink in 
Washington's time, and seemingly had lost all 
recollection of Mulberry Street and its con- 
cerns. In the midst of it there would come a 
rap at the door and a police official would enter 
with some problem to be solved. Roosevelt 
would stop in the doorway, run rapidly over it 
with him, decide it, unless it needed action by 
the Board, and after one nervous turn across 
the floor would resume dictating in the mid- 
dle of the sentence where he had stopped. I 
used to listen in amazement. It would have 
taken me hours of fretting to get back to where 
I was. 

One secret laugh I had at him in those days. 
The room was a big square one, with windows 
that had blue shades. When he got thoroughly 
into his dictation— during which he never per- 
mitted me to leave; he would stay any move- 
ment of mine that way with a detaining ges- 
ture, and go right on— he made, unconsciously, 
a three-fourths round of the office, and when 
he passed each window would seize the shade- 

[298] 



THE DESPAIR OF POLITICIANS 

cord and give a little abstracted pull, bringing 
it down an inch or so, until by degrees the room 
was in twilight. By the fourth or fifth round 
he would acquire a game leg. One of his 
knees stiffened, and thereafter he would drag 
around with him a disabled limb to the end 
of the chapter, when he as suddenly recovered 
the use of it. I sometimes wonder if his game 
leg takes part in cabinet discussions. If it 
does, I will warrant the country will know of 
it, though it may not be able to identify the 
ailment. I give it as a hint to nations that may 
be meditating provocation of Uncle Sam. I 
should beware of provoking the President's 
game leg. 

Which reminds me of the time we plotted 
against him in Mulberry Street, putting in 
quarters at a raffle at an Italian feast. The 
raffle was for a sheep which we hoped to win, 
and to lead to Headquarters in procession, 
headed by the Italian band. We even took Mr. 
Roosevelt around and made him spend five 
quarters in his own prospective undoing. But 
we did n't win the sheep. It was the Widow 
Motso on the third floor back who did; and 
when I heard her rapturous cry, and saw her 

[299] 



THEODORE ROOSEVELT 

hug the sheep then and there, and kiss its black 
nose, I was glad the plot miscarried. The 
widow killed the sheep the next day. Roose- 
velt never knew what he had escaped. It was 
all my way of paying him for calling sheep 
" woolly idiots," whereas they are my special 
pets. There is no animal I like so much as a 
sheep. It is so absolutely, comfortably stupid. 
You don't have to put sense into it, because 
you can't. 

I am tempted to tell you of more jokes, for 
he loves one dearly so long as it hurts no one's 
feelings. Two timid parsons found that out 
who saw Mr. Gilder shake hands with him at 
a reception and express the hope that " he 
would not embroil us in any foreign war." 

' What," cried the President, " a war? with 
me cooped up here in the White House! 
Never, gentlemen, never! " I wonder what the 
parsons thought when they caught their breath. 
Perhaps the man I met on a railroad train and 
told the story to, expressed it. " There, you 
see," said he; " he says it himself. If he could 
get away he would start a fight." His fun 
sometimes takes the form of mock severity with 
intimate friends. In the swarm of officials that 

[300] 




* 



§ r 



Q 



THE DESPAIR OF POLITICIANS 

came to wish the President a happy New Year 
were the Civil Service Commissioners, headed 
by John R. Procter, his old colleague, all men 
after his own heart. Mr. Procter still laughed 
at the recollection of that New Year's greet- 
ing when I saw him last. 1 The President 
drew himself up at their approach and re- 
marked with stiff dignity, loud enough for all 
to hear: 

" The moral tone of the room is distinctly 
lowered." 

No one need ever have any fear that Roose- 
velt will get the country into an undignified 
position. If unfamiliarity with a situation 
should lead him off the track, take my word for 
it he will take the straight, common-sense way 
out, and get there. The man who in his youth 
could describe Tammany as"a highly organ- 
ized system of corruption tempered with ma- 
levolent charity," and characterize a mutual ac- 
quaintance, a man with cold political ambitions 
whom I deemed devoid of sentiment, as having 
both, but " keeping them in different com- 

1 Poor friend! As the printer brings me the proof of this, I 
hear of his death. There was never a more loyal heart, a more 
dauntless soul than his. The world is poorer, indeed, for his 
going from us. 

[301] 



THEODORE ROOSEVELT 

partments," can be trusted to find a way out of 
any dilemma. 

If he got into one, that is to say. I know him 
well enough to be perfectly easy on that score. 
It seems to me that all the years I have watched 
him he has tackled problems that were new and 
strange to him, with such simple common sense 
that the difficulties have vanished before you 
could make them out; and the more difficult 
the problem the plainer his treatment of it. 
We were speaking about the Northern Secu- 
rities suits one day. 

" I do not claim to be a financial expert," he 
said; " but it does not take a financial expert 
to tell that, the law being that two small men 
shall not combine to the public injury, if I al- 
low two big men to do it I am setting up that 
worst of stumbling-blocks in a country like 
ours, which persuades the poor man that if 
he has money enough the law will not apply 
to him. That is elementary and needs no train- 
ing a financier. So in this matter of pub- 
licity of trust accounts. Publicity hurts no 
honest business, and is not feared by the man 
of straight methods. The man whose methods 
are crooked is the man whose game I would 

[302] 



THE DESPAIR OF POLITICIANS 

block. Those who complain know this per- 
fectly well, and their complaining betrays 
them. Again, with honest money— I did not 
need any financier to tell me that a short-weight 
dollar is not an honest dollar to pay full- 
weight dollar debts with." 

I thought of the wise newspaper editors who 
had been at such pains to explain to us how 
Roosevelt was responsible for the " unsettled 
condition " of Wall Street. Their house of 
cards, built up with such toilsome arguing, 
was just then falling to pieces, and the news 
columns in their own papers were giving us an 
inside view of what it was that had been going 
on in the financial market, and why some se- 
curities remained " undigested." Water and 
wind are notoriously a bad diet ; and what else 
to call the capitalization of a concern at thirty 
millions that rated itself at five, would puzzle, 
I imagine, even a " financial expert." 

And has he then no faults, this hero of mine ? 
Yes, he has, and I am glad of it, for I want 
a live man for a friend, not a dead saint— they 
are the only ones, I notice, who have no faults. 
He talks, they say, and I hope he will keep 
on, for he has that to say which the world needs 

[303] 



THEODORE ROOSEVELT 

to hear and cannot hear too long or too often. 
I don't think that he could keep a scrap-book, 
if he tried. I am sure he could not. It is not 
given to man once in a thousand years to make 
and to record history at the same time. But 
then it is not his business to keep scrap-books. 
I know he cannot dance, for I have seen a 
letter from a lady who reminded him of how 
he " trod strenuously " on her toes in the old 
dancing-school days when the world was 
young. And I have heard him sing— that he 
cannot do. The children think it perfectly 
lovely, but he would never pass for an artist. 
And when the recruit in camp accosted him 
with " Say, are you the Lieutenant-Colonel? 
The Colonel is looking for you," he did not 
order him under arrest or jab him with his 
sword, but merely told him to " Come with me 
and see how I do it "; which was quite irregu- 
lar, of course, if it did make a soldier out of 
a raw recruit. Oh, yes! I suppose he has his 
faults, though all these years I have been so 
busy finding out good things in him that were 
new to me, that I have never had time to look 
for them. But when I think of him, gentle, 
loyal, trusting friend, helpful, unselfish ever, 

[304] 



THE DESPAIR OF POLITICIANS 

champion of all that is good and noble and 
honest ; when I read in an old letter that strays 
into my hands his brave, patient words: " We 
have got to march and fight for the right as 
we see it, and face defeat and victory just as 

they come" ; and in another :"As for what 

say of my standing alone, why, I will if I must, 
but no one is more heartened by such support 
as you give than I am " — why, I feel that if 
that is the one thing I can do, I will do that; 
that, just as he is, with or without faults, I 
would rather stand with him and be counted 
than anywhere else on God's green earth. For, 
standing so, I know that I shall count always 
for our beloved country, which his example and 
his friendship have taught me to love beyond 
my own native land. And that is what I would 
do till I die. 

There is yet one side of Theodore Roosevelt 
upon which I would touch, because I know 
the question to be on many lips; though I ap- 
proach it with some hesitation. For a man's 
religious beliefs are his own, and he is not one 
to speak lightly of what is in his heart con- 
cerning the hope of heaven. But though he is 
of few public professions, yet is he a reverent 

[305] 



THEODORE ROOSEVELT 

man, of practice, in private and public, ever in 
accord with the highest ideals of Christian 
manliness. His is a militant faith, bound on 
the mission of helping the world ahead; and 
in that campaign he welcomes gladly whoever 
would help. For the man who is out merely 
to purchase for himself a seat in heaven, what- 
ever befall his brother, he has nothing but con- 
tempt ; for him who struggles painfully toward 
the light, a helping hand and a word of cheer 
always. With forms of every kind he has tol- 
erant patience— for what they mean. For the 
mere husk emptied of all meaning he has little 
regard. The soul of a thing is to him the use it 
is of. Speaking of the circuit-riders of old, he 
said once: "It is such missionary work that 
prevents the pioneers from sinking perilously 
near the level of the savagery against which 
they contend. Without it, the conquest of this 
continent would have had little but an ani- 
mal side. Because of it, deep beneath and 
through the national character there runs that 
power of firm adherence to a lofty ideal upon 
which the safety of the nation will ultimately 
depend." 

He himself declared his faith in the closing 

[306] 



THE DESPAIR OF POLITICIANS 

words of his address to the Young Men's 
Christian Association in New York City the 
night before he surrendered his stewardship 
as Governor into the hands of the people; 
and so let him stand before his countrymen 
and before the world : 

" The true Christian is the true citizen, lofty 
of purpose, resolute in endeavor, ready for a 
hero's deeds, but never looking down on his 
task because it is cast in the day of small 
things ; scornful of baseness, awake to his own 
duties as well as to his rights, following the 
higher law with reverence, and in this world 
doing all that in him lies, so that when death 
comes he may feel that mankind is in some 
degree better because he has lived." 



[307] 



XIII 
AT HOME AND AT PLAY 



XIII 
AT HOME AND AT PLAY 

THE Sylph had weighed anchor and was 
standing out for the open, sped on her 
way by a small gale that blew out of a 
bank of black cloud in the southeast. The sail- 
ors looked often and hard over the rail at the 
gathering gloom, the white-caps in the Sound, 
and the scudding drift overhead, prophesying 
trouble. A West Indian cyclone that had de- 
stroyed the crops in Jamaica and strewn our 
coast with wrecks had been lost for two days. 
It looked very much as if the Sylph, carrying 
the President from Oyster Bay to New York, 
had f oimd it. And, indeed, before we reached 
the forts that guard the approach to the city, 
a furious hurricane churned the waters of the 
Sound and of the clouds into a maddening 
whirl in which it seemed as if so small a ship 

[311] 



THEODORE ROOSEVELT 

could never live. A tug went down within hail ; 
but only the sailors knew it. The passengers 
had been cleared from the deck, that the Sylph 
might be stripped of its awnings and every rag 
of canvas which might help throw it over if the 
worst happened. We went gladly enough, for 
the deck had ceased to be a comfortable or even 
a safe place, — all except the President, who had 
fallen out of the general conversation and into 
a corner by himself, with a book. A sailor con- 
fronted him with an open knife in his hand. 

" Mr. President," he said, " orders are to cut 
away " ; and without any more ado he slashed at 
the awning overhead, cutting its fastenings. 
The President woke up and retreated. Fol- 
lowing him down into the cabin, I came upon 
Mrs. Roosevelt placidly winding yarn from the 
hands of the only other woman passenger. 
They were both as calm as though Government 
tugs were not chasing up the river as hard as 
they could go to the rescue of our boat, sup- 
posed to be in peril of shipwreck. 

But at the moment I am thinking of, the hur- 
ricane was as yet only a smart blow. We were 
steaming out past Centre Island, under the 
rugged shore where Sagamore Hill lay hid 

[312] 



AT HOME AND AT PLAY 

among the foliage. The President stood at the 
rail surveying the scenes he loves. Here he 
had played as a boy, and dreamed a boy's 
dreams; here he had grown to manhood; here 
his children were growing up around him, 
happy and healthy boys and girls. We passed 
a sandy bluff sloping sheer into the Sound 
from under its crown of trees. 

" See," he said, pointing to it. " Cooper's 
Bluff! Three generations of Roosevelts have 
raced down its slope. We did, only yesterday. 
Good run, that! " 

And as the Sylph swept by I made out three 
lines .of track, hugging each other close, — a 
man's long, sturdy stride and the smaller feet 
of Archie and Kermit racing their father down- 
hill. Half-way down they had slipped and 
slid, scooping up the sand in great furrows. I 
could almost hear their shouts and laughter 
ringing yet in the woods. 

Sagamore Hill is the family sanctuary, whi- 
ther they come back in June with one long 
sigh of relief that their holiday is in sight, in 
which they may have one another. No longer to 
themselves, it is true. The President is not 
permitted to be alone even in his own home. 

[313] 



THEODORE ROOSEVELT 

But still they have days of seclusion, and 
nights,— that greatest night in the year, when 
the President goes camping with the boys. 
How much it all meant to him I never fully 
realized till last Election day, when I went 
with him home to vote. The sun shone so 
bright and warm, when he came out from 
among his old neighbors, who crowded around 
to shake hands, that a longing came over him 
for the old place, and we drove out to Saga- 
more Hill to catch a glimpse of it in its Indian- 
summer glory. Four dogs came bounding out 
with joyous barks and leaped upon him, and he 
caressed them and called them by name, each 
and every one, while they whined with delight, 
— " Sailor-boy " happiest of the lot, a big, 
clumsy, but loyal fellow, " of several good 
breeds,'' said the President, whimsically. They 
followed him around as he went from tree to 
tree, and from shrub to shrub, visiting with each 
one, admiring the leaf of this and the bark of 
that, as if they were personal friends. And so 
they were ; for he planted them all. Seeing him 
with them, I grasped the real meaning of the 
family motto, Qui plantavit curdbit, that stands 
carved in the beam over the door looking north 

[314] 



AT HOME AND AT PLAY 

toward the hill with the cedars, where the soil is 
warm and full of white pebbles, and it is nice to 
lie in the grass when strawberries are ripe. 

Roses were blooming still, and heliotrope 
and sweet alyssum, in Mrs. Roosevelt's garden, 
and down at the foot of the long lawn a wild 
vine crept caressingly over the stone that 
marks the resting-place of the children's pets. 
" Faithful Friends " is hewn in its rough face, 
with the names of " Susie," " Jessie," and 
" Boz." How many rabbits, rats, and guinea- 
pigs keep them company in their ghostly revels 
I shall not say. No one knows unless it be 
Kermit, who has his own ways and insists upon 
decent but secret burial as among the inalien- 
able rights of defunct pets. It was his discov- 
ery, one day in the White House, that a rabbit 
belonging to Archie lay unburied in the garden 
a whole day after its demise, which brought 
about a court-martial in the nursery. Ted, the 
oldest brother, was Judge-Advocate-General, 
and his judgment was worthy of a Solomon. 

" It was Archie's rabbit," he said gravely, 
when all the evidence was in, " and it is Archie's 
funeral. Let him have it in peace." 

Poor " Susie "—ill named, for " she " was a 

[315] 



THEODORE ROOSEVELT 

he — came nearer to provoking irreverence in 
me, by making me laugh in church, than any- 
thing that has happened since I was a boy. I 
had come out on a Sunday, and finding the 
President's carriage at the church, went in to 
join in the worship while waiting for him. 
" Susie " lay in the vestibule, and at sight of 
me manifested his approval by pounding the 
floor with his club tail until the sound of it re- 
verberated through the building like rolling 
thunder. The door opened, and a pale young 
man came out to locate the source of the dis- 
turbance. Discovering it in " Susie's " tail, he 
grabbed him by the hind legs and dragged him 
around so that the blows might fall on the soft 
door-mat. But " Susie," pleased with the ex- 
tra attention paid him, hammered harder than 
ever, and in his delight stretched himself so far 
that his tail still struck the hollow floor. I was 
convulsed with laughter, but never a smile 
crossed the countenance of the proper young 
man. He studied " Susie " thoughtfully, made 
a mental diagram of his case, then took a fresh 
hold and dragged him around, this time to a 
safe harbor, where he might wag as he would 
without breaking the Sabbath peace. I am 

[316] 



AT HOME AND AT PLAY 

glad I sat five seats behind Mr. Roosevelt dur- 
ing the rest of the service, and that he knew 
nothing of "Susie's" doings; for if he had 
turned his head and given me as much as one 
look, I should have broken right out laughing 
and made a scandal. 

When we drove back to the village that No- 
vember day I caught him looking back once or 
twice toward the house in its bower of crimson 
shrubs, and I saw that his heart was there. You 
would not wonder if you knew it. I never go 
away from Sagamore Hill without a feeling 
that if I lived there I would never leave it, and 
that nothing would tempt me to exchange it for 
the White House, with all it stands for. But 
then I am ten years older than Theodore Roose- 
velt; though it isn't always the years that count. 
For I think if it came to a vote, the children 
would carry my proposition with a shout. Not 
that Sagamore Hill has anything to suggest 
a palace. Quite the contrary: it is a very 
modest home for the President of the United 
States. On a breezy hilltop overlooking field 
and forest and Sound, with the Connecticut 
shore on the northern horizon, its situation is 
altogether taking. The house is comfortable, 

[317] 



THEODORE ROOSEVELT 

filled with reminders of the stirring life its 
owner has led in camp and on the hunting-trail, 
and with a broad piazza on the side that catches 
the cool winds of summer. But it is homelike 
rather than imposing. It is the people them- 
selves who put the stamp upon it, — the life they 
live there together. 

Truly, together. The President is boy with 
his boys there. He puts off the cares of state 
and takes a hand in their games; and if they 
lagged before, they do not lag then. It is he 
who sets Josiah, the badger, free, and bids all 
hands skip, and skip lively; for Josiah's one 
conscious aim, when out of his cage, appears to 
be to nip a leg, — any leg, even a Presidential 
leg, within reach,— and he makes for them all 
successively in his funny, preoccupied way. Jo- 
siah, then a very small baby badger, was heaved 
on board the Presidential train out in Kansas 
last year, by a little girl who shouted his name 
after the train, and was brought up on a nurs- 
ing-bottle till he cut his teeth. Since then he has 
been quite able to shift for himself. At pres- 
ent he looks more like a small, flat mattress, 
with a leg under each corner, than anything 
else. That is the President's description of 

[318] 



AT HOME AND AT PLAY 

him, and it is a very good one. I wish I could 
have shown you him one morning last summer 
when, having vainly chased the President and 
all the children, he laid siege to Archie in his 
hammock. Archie was barelegged and pru- 
dently stayed where he was, but the hammock 
hung within a few inches of the grass. Josiah 
promptly made out a strategic advantage there, 
and went for the lowest point of it with snap- 
ping jaws. Archie's efforts to shift continu- 
ously his center of gravity while watching his 
chance to grab the badger by its defenseless 
back, was one of the funniest performances I 
ever saw. Josiah lost in the end. 

The President himself teaches his boys how 
to shoot; he swims with them in the cove and 
goes with them on long horseback rides, start- 
ing sometimes before sunrise. On fine days, as 
often as he can get away, luncheon is packed in 
the row-boat and he takes the whole family 
rowing to some distant point on the shore, 
which even the secret service men have not dis- 
covered, and there they spend the day, the 
President pulling the oars going and coming. 
Or else he takes Mrs. Roosevelt alone on a little 
jaunt, and these two, over whose honeymoon 

[319] 



THEODORE ROOSEVELT 

the years have no dominion, have a day to them- 
selves, from which he returns to wrestle with 
powers and principalities and postmasters with 
twice the grip he had before; for she is truly 
his helpmeet and as wise as she is gentle and 
good. 

When he wants to be alone, he dons a flannel 
shirt, shoulders an ax, and betakes himself to 
some secluded spot in the woods where there 
are trees to fell. Then the sounds that echo 
through the forest glade tell sometimes, unless 
I greatly mistake, of other things than lifeless 
logs that are being smitten,— postmasters let us 
say. I remember the story of Lincoln, whom 
one of the foreign ambassadors found pacing 
the White House garden in evident distress, 
at a time when Lee was having his own way 
with the Union armies ; whereat the ambassador 
expressed his regret that the news from the 
field so distressed the President. 

" From the field? " said Mr. Lincoln. " If 
that were all ! No, it is that wretched postmas- 
tership of Brownsville that makes life a bur- 
den." 

I have met Mr. Roosevelt coming in with 
his ax, and with a look that told of obsti- 
nate knots smashed — yes, I think they were 

[320] 



AT HOME AND AT PLAY 

smashed. I fancy tougher things than post- 
masters would have a hard time resisting the 
swing of that strong and righteous arm bound 
on hewing its way ; wolves howling in the woods 
would n't stay it, I know,— not for a minute. 

The great day is when he goes camping 
with the boys. The Sagamore Hill boys and 
their cousins whose summer homes are near 
plan it for months ahead. A secluded spot 
alongshore is chosen, with good water and a 
nice sand beach handy, and the expedition sets 
out with due secrecy, the White House guards- 
men being left behind to checkmate the report- 
ers and the camera fiends. Mr. Roosevelt is sail- 
ing-master and chief of the jolly band. Along 
in the afternoon they reach their hiding-place ; 
then bait and fishing-poles are got ready— for 
they are real campers-out, not make-believes, 
and though they have grub on board, fish they 
must. When they have caught enough, the 
boys bring wood and build a fire. The Presi- 
dent rolls up his sleeves and turns cook. 

" Um-m! " says Archie; " you oughter taste 
my father's beefsteak! He tumbles them all 
in together,— meat, onions, and potatoes,— but, 
um-m! it is good." 

I warrant it is, and that they eat their fill! 

[321] 



THEODORE ROOSEVELT 

I have n't forgotten the potatoes I roasted by 
the brook in the wood-lot when I was a boy. 
No such potatoes grow nowadays. 

Afterward, they sit around the fire, wrapped 
in blankets, and tell bear-stories and ghost- 
stories, while the children steal furtive glances 
at the shadows closing in upon the circle of 
flickering light. They are not afraid, those 
children. The word is not in the Sagamore 
Hill dictionary. The spectacle of little Archie, 
hatless, guiding a stalwart Rough-Rider 
through the twilight woods, telling him to fol- 
low his white head and not be afraid of 
bogies,— they won't hurt him,— is a joy to me 
forever. But when owls are hooting in the dark 
woods I like to hug the fire myself. It feels 
twice as good then. 

When the stars shine out in the sky over- 
head, they stretch themselves with their feet to 
the fire, roll up in their blankets, and sleep 
the untroubled sleep of the woods. The sun, 
peeping over the trees, finds them sporting in 
the cool, salt water; and long before the day 
begins for the world of visitors they are back 
home, a happy, roistering crew. 

The Roosevelts have found (if they have 
[s»] 



AT HOME AND AT PLAY 

not always had it; certainly the President's 
father did) the secret that binds families to- 
gether with bonds which nothing can break: 
they are children with their boys and girls. 
How simple a secret, yet how many of us have 
lost it ! I did not even know I was one of them, 
or what it was that had come between me and 
my little lad — the one who figured out after 
hours of deep study, when our second grand- 
child was born, that now he was " two uncles " 
— until one bright day last summer when I 
went fishing with him. I wanted to know where 
he went when he disappeared for whole days at 
a time; and when I volunteered to dig the bait 
by a new method that made the worms come 
up of themselves to locate a kind of earthquake 
I was causing, he took me by many secret 
paths to a pond hidden deep in the woods a 
mile away, which was his preserve. There we 
sat solemnly angling for shiners an inch long, 
with bent pins on lines of thread, and were 
nearly eaten up by mosquitoes. But to him it 
was lovely, and so it was to me, for it gave me 
back my boy. That evening, on the way home, 
his boyish hand stole into mine with a new con- 
fidence. We were chums now, and all was well. 

[323] 



THEODORE ROOSEVELT 

When they were little, the Roosevelt boys 
and girls went to the Cove school, which is the 
public school of the district, where the children 
of the gardener and the groom go, as well as 
those of their employers if they live there in 
the school season. Now, in Washington, the 
Roosevelts follow the same plan. The public 
school first, as far as it will carry the children 
to advantage, thereafter the further training 
for college. It is the thoroughly sound and 
sensible way in which they do all things in the 
Sagamore Hill family. So only can we get 
a grip on the real life we all have to live in a 
democracy of which, when all is said and done, 
the public school is the main prop. So, and 
in no other way, can we hold the school to ac- 
count, and so do we fight from the very start 
the class spirit that is the arch enemy of the re- 
public. If it could be done that way, I would 
( |, have it ordered by law that every American 
< child, be its parents rich or poor, should go 
certain years to public school. Only it cannot 
be done that way, but must be left to the citi- 
zens' common sense that in the end has to be 
counted with everywhere. 

All real children are democrats if left to their 

[324] 




THEODORE ROOSEVELT, JR. 

PHOTOGRAPH BY ARTHUR HEWITT 



AT HOME AND AT PLAY 

natural bent, and the Roosevelt children are 
real children. At Groton I met Ted, the old- 
est, with his arm in a sling, a token from the 
football game and also from a scrap he had had 
with another lad who called him " the first boy 
in the land " and got a good drubbing for it. 
" I wish," said Ted to me in deep disgust, " that 
my father would soon be done holding office. 
I am sick and tired of it." 

It was not long after that that Ted fell ill 
with pneumonia, and his brother Archie sent 
him his painfully scrawled message of sympa- 
thy: " I hop you are beter." His father keeps 
it, I know, in that sacred place in his heart 
where lie treasured the memories of letters in 
childish scrawl that brought home even to the 
trenches before Santiago, with the shrapnel 
cracking overhead. 

There are other lessons than spelling and 
grammar to be learned in Washington,— les- 
sons of democracy, too, in their way. I have 
heard of the policeman of the White House 
Squad who was discharged for cause, and ap- 
pealed to the little lad who answers roll-call 
with the police on holidays and salutes the ser- 
geant as gravely as the men in blue and brass. 

[ 325 J 



THEODORE ROOSEVELT 

Archie heard him out. Appeal to his father 
direct was cut off — the policeman knew why. 
But Senator Lodge, who is next friend of the 
President and is supposed to have a " pull," 
lives in Massachusetts Avenue, opposite Ar- 
chie's school. That was it. 

' You come around,** were Archie's direc- 
tions to his friend, " to the Force School to- 
morrow, and we will see what Lodge can do 
about it." 

What " Lodge did " I don't know. I know 
it would have been hard for me to resist. 

It was the privilege of Mr. Roosevelt, when 
he was nearer home, to give the children at the 
Cove school their Christmas gifts, and the mem- 
ory of those occasions is very lively in Oyster 
Bay. Mr. Roosevelt made a good Santa Claus, 
never better than when he was just home from 
the war, with San Juan hill for a background. 
That time he nearly took the boys' breath away. 
Nowadays some one else has to take his place ; 
the gifts come, as in the past, and the little 
" coves " are made happy. But the President 
comes into their lives only twice or three times 
a year— at Christmas and when he comes home 
for his vacation; perhaps on the Fourth of 

[326] 



AT HOME AND AT PLAY 

July. Mrs. Roosevelt is part of it all the time, 
and a very lovely because a loving part of life 
in the little village. When I hear of her go- 
ing about among its people, their friend and 
neighbor in the true sense, I think of her hus- 
band's father, the elder Theodore, who syste- 
matically took one day out of six for personal 
visitation among his poor friends; and how 
near they, both he and she, have come to the 
mark which the rest of us go all around and 
miss with such prodigious toil and trouble. 
Neighborliness, — that covers the ground. It 
is all that is needed. 

They have a sewing-circle in Oyster Bay, the 
St. Hilda chapter of the Society of Christ 
Church, which the Roosevelts attend ; and of its 
twenty-odd members, embracing the wives of 
the harness-maker, the conductor, the oyster- 
man, — the townspeople whom she has known all 
her married life, — there is no more faithful at- 
tendant at the Thursday-afternoon meetings 
than Mrs. Roosevelt. She brings her own 
thimble and cotton, and hems and sews with 
the rest of them the little garments of outing- 
flannel or unbleached muslin that are worn by 
the child cripples in the House of St. Giles, 

[327 ] 



THEODORE ROOSEVELT 

Brooklyn, the while she gossips with them and 
tells all about the fine doings in Washington. 
I saw not long ago in a newspaper that some 
thoughtless woman who had demanded of Mrs. 
Roosevelt a gift for a church fair, and had re- 
ceived a handkerchief hemmed by herself, had 
sent it back with the message that something 
better was wanted. I hope this which I am 
writing here will come under her eye and make 
her sorry for what she did. At that very time 
the President's wife, with six children whose 
bringing up she supervises herself, and with 
all the social burdens of the mistress of the 
White House upon her shoulders, was patiently 
cutting and sewing a half-dozen nightgowns 
for the little tortured limbs of her crippled 
friends, and doing it all herself for love's sake. 
She had brought them with her from Oyster 
Bay and finished them in the White House, 
where, I suppose, the church-fair woman 
thought she was being amused to keep from 
perishing of ennui. 

They recall in that sewing-circle the days of 
the war, when Mrs. Roosevelt, walking down 
from the hill every Thursday to their meeting, 
and never betraying by word or look the care 

[328] 



AT HOME AND AT PLAY 

that gnawed at her heart, grew thin and pale 
as the days went by with news of fighting and 
her husband in the thick of it; till on the day 
of San Juan hill the rector's wife caught her 
impetuously into her embrace before them all, 
and told her that Colonel Roosevelt was a hero, 
without doubt, " but you are three." 

And they tell, while they wipe a tear away 
with the apron corner, of the consumptive girl 
lying in her bed longing for the bright world 
which she would never see, to whom the then 
Vice-President's wife brought back from the 
inauguration ball her dance-card and her bou- 
quet, and all the little trinkets she could gather 
for her in Washington, to make her heart glad. 
No wonder they think her a saint. There are 
those in Washington, in need and in sorrow, 
I am told, who would think so, too, did they 
know the whence of the helping hand that 
comes just in time. It was so in Albany, I 
know. No one ever appealed to the Governor's 
wife without having his case intelligently and 
sympathetically inquired into, so that she might 
know exactly how to help. Mrs. Roosevelt 
does not believe in wasting anything, least of all 
sweet charity. With her husband she wisely 

[329 ] 



THEODORE ROOSEVELT 

maintains that the poorest service one can ren- 
der his neighbor is to carry him when he ought 
to walk. 

As for the St. Hilda circle, its measure was 
full last summer when Mrs. Roosevelt took it 
out in a body on the Sylph to the naval review 
in the Sound, and the great ships gave them the 
Presidential salute, — or the Sylph, anyway, 
which was the same thing. Were they not on 
board, its honored guests? 

The same simple way of living that has al- 
ways been theirs at home, they carried with 
them to the White House. I do not know how 
other Presidents lived, for I was never there 
before, but I imagine no one ever led a more 
plain and wholesome life than the Roosevelts 
do. I cannot think that there was ever a family 
there that had so good a time. The children 
are still the mother's chief care. They have 
their hour that is for them only, when she 
reads to them or tells them stories in her room, 
and at all other hours they are privileged to in- 
trude except when, on Tuesday, their mother 
entertains the cabinet ladies in the library. She 
is never too busy to listen to their little stories 
of childish pleasure and trouble, and they bring 

[330] 



AT HOME AND AT PLAY 

to her everything, from the first dandelion 
Quentin found in the White Lot to the latest 
prank of Algonquin, the calico pony that was 
smuggled up in the elevator to Archie when 
he was sick with the measles. Algonquin is 
about the size of a big Newfoundland dog, 
but twice as lively with his heels. That was a 
prank of the stable-boy, aided and abetted, I 
imagine, by the doorkeeper, who had been a 
boy himself, and to whom the swiftly flashing 
legs of Archie in the corridors of the old build- 
ing are like spring come again. They all love 
him ; no one can help it. 

But I must not be tempted to write about 
the children, since then there would be no end, 
and this is a story of their father. 

I might even be led to betray the secret of 
the morning battles with pillows when the 
children, in stealthy, night-robed array, am- 
bush their father and compel him to ignomin- 
ious surrender if they catch him " down." 
That is the rule of the game. I remember 
the morning when they came swarming down 
about him, rejoicing in their victory, and his 
sober counsel to them to go slow thenceforth, 
for Rose, their maid, whom they brought with 

[331] 



THEODORE ROOSEVELT 

them from Oyster Bay, and whom wild horses 
could n't drag away from the Roosevelts, had 
protested that they mussed the beds too much. 
I have read of President Jackson making 
an isolated ward of the White House, and 
himself nursing a faithful attendant who was 
stricken with the smallpox, when his fellow-ser- 
vants had run away ; and of Lincoln laughingly 
accepting General Grant's refusal of the din- 
ner Mrs. Lincoln had planned in his honor, 
because he had " had enough of the show busi- 
ness." The Colonel of the Rough-Riders 
bowing obediently before the law of the house- 
hold, and retreating before Rose where she was 
rightfully in command, belongs with them in 
my gallery of heroes; and not a bit less hero 
does he seem to me, but more. 

The White House in its new shape— or, ra- 
ther, as restored to the plan that was in the 
minds of the builders— is in its simple dignity 
as beautiful a mansion as any land has to 
show, altogether a fitting residence for the 
President of the American Republic. The 
change is apparent to the casual visitor as soon 
as he enters the great hall, where the noble 
white pillars have been set free, as it were, from 

[332] 



AT HOME AND AT PLAY 

their hideously incongruous environment of 
stained glass and partition, and stand out in 
all their massive beauty. Really, the hall is as 
handsome a place as I have ever seen. Up- 
stairs, where the public does not come, a wide 
corridor, I should think quite twenty feet, 
that is in itself a cozy living-room, with its 
prevailing colors dark green and gray, runs 
the whole length of the building from east 
to west, and upon it open the family rooms 
and the guest-rooms. The great hall makes 
a splendid ball-ground, as I know from expe- 
rience, for I joined Ethel and Archie in a 
game there, which they would have won by 
about 99 to 0, I should say, if there had been 
any score, which there was n't. At the east 
end of the hall is the President's den, where 
the lamp burns late into the small hours many 
a night when the world sleeps without. There 
he keeps the swords and the sticks with which 
he takes vigorous exercise when he cannot ride. 
The woodman's ax he leaves behind at Oyster 
Bay. 

The day begins at exactly 8 : 30 at the White 
House. The President himself pours the cof- 
fee at breakfast. It is one of his privileges, and 

[333] 



THEODORE ROOSEVELT 

he looks fine as host. I can almost hear my 
woman reader say, "What do they eat at a 
White House breakfast? " Oatmeal, eggs and 
bacon, coffee and rolls—there is one morning's 
menu. I don't think they would object to my 
telling, and I like to think that in thousands of 
homes all over our land they are sharing the 
President's breakfast, as it were. It brings us 
all so much nearer together, and that is where 
we belong. That was why I told of the chil- 
dren's play. And if there is any who thinks 
that his sporting with the little ones when it 
is the hour of play makes him any less fitted for 
the work he has to do for all of us,— why, he 
never made a bigger mistake. Ask the politi- 
cians and the place-seekers who come to see 
him in the early hours of the afternoon, and 
hear what they think of it. 

From breakfast to luncheon the President is 
in his office, seeing the people who come from 
everywhere to shake hands, or with messages 
for the Chief Magistrate. 

Along in the afternoon the horses are 
brought up and the President goes riding with 
Mrs. Roosevelt or alone. Once I heard him 
tempt Secretary Root to go, and the Secretary 

[334] 



AT HOME AND AT PLAY 

agreed if he would guarantee that Wyoming, 
the horse he offered him, would not kneel. He 
was averse to foreign customs, he said. 

" Yes," laughed the President, " you are 
a good American citizen, and home ways are 
good enough for you." 

I have a ride on Wyoming coming to me, 
and I am glad. I was cheated out of it the 
last time, because Washington had so tired me 
out that the President would not take me. 
And Wyoming can kneel if he wants to. I 
think I would let him jump a fence with me 
where his master led. I guess I know how 
his Rough-Riders felt. 

That was the only time Washington tired 
me out. I had come to help tackle its slums, 
for it has them, more 's the pity. Ordinarily it 
is one of my holiday cities : I have three, Wash- 
ington, Boston, and Springfield, Massachu- 
setts. As to Boston and Springfield, I suppose 
it is just because I like them. But Washington 
is a holiday city to me because he is there. When 
he was in Albany that was one. To Washing- 
ton I take my wife when we want to be young 
again, and we go and sit in the theater and 
weep over the miseries of the lovers, and rejoice 

[ 335 ] 



THEODORE ROOSEVELT 

with them when it all comes right in the end. 
There should be a law to make all lovers happy 
in the end, and to slay all the villains, at least 
in the national capital. And then, nowadays, 
we go to the White House, and that is the best 
of all. I shall never forget the Christmas be- 
fore last, when I told the President and Mrs. 
Roosevelt at breakfast of my old mother who 
was sick in Denmark and longing for her boy, 
and my hostess's gentle voice as she said, 
" Theodore, let us cable over our love to her." 
And they did. Before that winter day was 
at an end (and the twilight shadows were steal- 
ing over the old town by the bleak North Sea 
even while we breakfasted in Washington) the 
telegraph messenger, in a state of bewilder- 
ment,— I dare say he has not got over it yet, — 
brought mother this despatch: 

" The White House, Dec. 20, 1902. 
" Mrs. Riis, Ribe, Denmark: 

' Your son is breakfasting with us. We send 
you our loving sympathy. 

" Theodore and Edith Roosevelt." 

Where is there a mother who would not get 
up out of a sick-bed when she received a mes- 

1336] 



AT HOME AND AT PLAY 

sage like that, even though at first she would 
not believe it was true? And where is the son 
who would not cherish the deed and the doer 
forever in his heart of hearts? But it is the 
doing of that sort of thing that is their dear 
delight, those two ; and that is why I am writing 
about them here, for I would like every one to 
know them just as they are. Here is a friend 
'way out in Kansas, whose letter came this min- 
ute, writing, " the President who walks through 
your pages is a very heroic and kingly figure, 
a very Arthur among his knights at the round 
table." Truly the President is that. I think 
we can all begin to make it out, except those who 
are misled and those in whose natures there is 
nothing to which the kingly in true manhood 
appeals. But could I show you him as he really 
is, as husband, father, and friend, you would 
have to love him even if you disagreed with 
him about everything. You just could n't help 
it any more than could one of the old-time em- 
ployes in the White House who stopped beside 
me as I stood looking at him coming across 
from the Executive Office the other day. 

" There he is," said he, and his face lighted 
up. " I don't know what there is about that man 

[337] 



THEODORE ROOSEVELT 

to make me feel so. I have seen a good many 
Presidents come and go in this old house, and I 
liked them all. They were all good and kind; 
but I declare I feel as if I could go twice as 
far and twice as quick when he asks me to, and 
do it twice as gladly." 

I guess he knows, too, how his Rough-Riders 
felt about their Colonel. 



L 338 ] 



XIV 
CHILDREN TRUST HIM 



XIV 
CHILDREN TRUST HIM 

WHEN the President came back from 
his long Western trip, I went to 
meet him on the Long Island 
ferry. I had myself returned from the Western 
country a little while before, a very tired man, 
though I had only to lecture once each night; 
and when I remembered his experience on that 
record-breaking journey I expected to meet a 
jaded, worn-out man. But his powers of physi- 
cal endurance are truly marvelous. I found 
him as fresh, to all appearances, as if he had 
been off in the woods on a hunt instead of 
shaking hands with and being entertained by 
half the nation. No doubt going home was 
part of it; for he knew how they had counted 
the days to his return at Sagamore Hill, and 
now an hour or two— then he should see them. 

[341] 



THEODORE ROOSEVELT 

His eyes fairly danced as he sat down to tell 
me of the trip. There was so much, he said, 
that it would take a month. And then, as in 
mind he went back over the thousands of miles 
he had traveled, the Sunday quiet of a little 
Kansas prairie town, and a picture from the 
service that brought the farmers in from fifty 
miles around, stood out among all the rest. 
The children came to his car to take him to 
church, and when the people had all been 
seated two little girls for whom there was no 
room stood by his pew. He took them in 
and shared his hymn-book with them, and the 
three sang together, they with their clear girl- 
ish voices, he with his deep bass. They were 
not afraid or embarrassed; he was just their 
big brother for the time. And there was the 
tenderness in his voice I love to hear as he 
told me of them. 

" You should have seen their innocent little 
faces. They were so dainty and clean in their 
starched dresses, with their vellow braids 
straight down their backs. And they thanked 
me so sweetly for sharing the book with them 
that it was a hardship not to catch them up 
in one's arms and hug them then and there." 

[342] 



CHILDREN TRUST HIM 

Some of the party told me of the reception 
that followed, and of the little fellow who 
squirmed and squirmed in the grasp of the 
President's hand, twisting this way and that, 
in desperate search of something, until Mr. 
Roosevelt asked him whom he was looking for. 

" The President," gasped the lad, twisting 
harder to get away, for fear he would lose his 
chance. And then the look of amazed incredu- 
lity that came into his face when the man who 
still had him by the hand said that he was the 
President. He must have felt as I did when I 
first met King Christian in Copenhagen, and 
learned who the man in the blue overcoat was, 
with whom I had such a good time telling him 
all about my boyish ambitions and my father 
and home, while we climbed the stairs to the 
picture exhibition in the palace of Charlotten- 
borg. The idea of a real king in an overcoat 
and a plain hat! I had had my doubts about 
whether he took off his crown when he went to 
bed at night. 

That is the boy of it, I suppose ; and they are 
all alike. If any, you would think the preco- 
cious youngster from the East-side Jewry 
would be excepted; but he is not. I have a 

[343] 



THEODORE ROOSEVELT 

fairly representative specimen in mind, who 
wrote home from his vacation in Maine, " Tom 
Reed has seen me twice." But when at last the 
privilege was vouchsafed to President Roose- 
velt, speech and sense forsook our East-sider, 
and he stood and looked on, gaping, the fine 
oration he had committed to memory clean 
gone out of his head. He explained his break 
after the President was gone. 

" Why," he gasped, " he was just like any 
other plain-clothes man! " 

A ribbon or sash, at least, with a few stars 
and crosses, a fellow might have expected. 
And, when you come to think of it, it is not 
so strange. Look at the general of the army in 
gala suit, and at the President, his commander- 
in-chief. Which makes me think again of 
Mr. Cleveland, who, when he was governor, 
togged out his staff in the most gorgeous 
clothes ever seen, and when heading it on his 
way to a public function, himself in plain black, 
was stopped by an underling, who took one 
glance at the procession and waved it back. 

" The band goes the other way," he said. 

Long years after, Mr. Cleveland had not 
stopped laughing at the recollection of the look 

[344] 



CHILDREN TRUST HIM 

that sat upon the faces of the gold-laced com- 
pany of distinguished citizens. 

Rut I was thinking of President Roosevelt's 
affection for children. It is just the experi- 
ence of an unspoiled nature that reaches out 
for what is pure and natural. I remember that 
the day we were making the trip of the tene- 
ment-house sweat-shops together, we came, in 
one of the Italian flats, upon a little family 
scene. A little girl was going to confirmation, 
all dressed in white, with flowers and veil. She 
stood by her grandmother's chair in the dingy 
room, a radiant vision, with reverently bowed 
head as the aged hand was laid in trembling 
benediction upon her brow. The Governor 
stopped on the threshold and surveyed the 
scene with kindling eyes. 

" Sweet child," he said, and learned her 
name and age from the parents, who received 
us with the hospitable courtesy of their peo- 
ple. "Tell them," to the interpreter, " that 
I am glad I came in to see her, and that I be- 
lieve she will be always as good and innocent 
as she is now, and a very great help to her 
mother and her venerable grandmother." That 
time I did get a chance to tell them who it was 

[345] 



THEODORE ROOSEVELT 

that had come to the feast, so that it might add 
to the pleasure of the day for them. I just 
sneaked back and told them. 

The children usually take to him, as he to 
them, in the same perfect good faith. We saw 
it in Mulberry Street, after he had gone, when 
two little tots came from over on the East Side 
asking for " the Commissioner," that they 
might obtain justice. I can see them now: the 
older a little hunchback girl, with her poor 
shawl pinned over her head and the sober look 
of a child who has known want and pinching 
poverty at an age when she should have been 
at play, dragging her reluctant baby brother 
by the hand. His cheeks were tear-stained, 
and his little nose was bruised and bloody, and 
he was altogether an unhappy boy, in his role 
of " evidence," under the scrutiny of the big 
policeman at the door. It was very plain that 
he would much rather not have been there. 
But the decrees of fate were no more merciless 
than his sister's grasp on him as she marched 
him in and put the case to the policeman. They 
had come from Allen Street, then the Red 
Light District. Some doubtful " ladies " had 
moved into their tenement, she explained, and 

[346] 



CHILDREN TRUST HIM 

the other tenants had " made trouble " with the 
pohce. The " ladies," locating the source of 
the trouble in their flat, had seized upon the 
child and " punched " his nose. They had 
even had to send for a doctor. She unrolled 
a bundle and showed a bottle of medicine in 
corroboration, Her brother had suffered and 
the household had been put to expense. Seeing 
which, she had collected her evidence and come 
straight to Police Headquarters to " see the 
Commissioner." Having said it, she waited 
calmly for directions, sure that when she found 
the Commissioner they would get justice. 

And they did get it, though Roosevelt was 
no longer there. It was for him they had come. 
Nothing that happened in all that time showed 
better how deep was the mark he left. It was 
his legacy to Mulberry Street that the children 
should come there seeking justice, and their 
faith was not to be put to shame. 

In those days he would sometimes slip away 
with me from Headquarters for an hour with 
the little Italians in the Sullivan Street Indus- 
trial School, or some other work of the Chil- 
dren's Aid Society, in which his father had 
borne a strong hand. It was after the first 

[347] 



THEODORE ROOSEVELT 

McKinley election that we surprised Miss 
Satterie's school (in Sullivan Street) at their 
Christmas-tree. They were singing " Children 
of the Heavenly King," and the teacher, with 
the pride in her pupils that goeth before a 
fall, according to the proverb, held up the 
singing without warning, and asked: 

" Children, who is this heavenly King? " 

It was not a fair question, with a small bat- 
talion of pink-robed dolls nodding from the 
branches of the tree, and ice-cream being 
brought in in pails. Heaven enough in Sul- 
livan Street for them, just then. There was a 
dead silence that was becoming painful when 
a little brown fist shot up from a rear bench. 

' Well, Vito!" said the teacher, relieved, 
"who is he?" 

" McKinley," piped the youngster. He had 
not forgotten the fireworks and the flags and 
the brass bands. Could anything be grander? 
And all in honor of McKinley. What better 
proof that he must be the King— of Sullivan 
Street anyway, where heaven had just found 
lodgment ? 

When Roosevelt had been elected governor, 
we went over together for the last time ; for 

[348] 



CHILDREN TRUST HIM 

it was getting to be hard for him to go around 
without gathering a crowd, and I saw that 
he did not like it. In one of his letters not long 
ago he spoke of the old days, and our expe- 
ditions, and of how he wished we could do 
again what we did then, for he had ever a great 
desire to get close to the real life of the peo- 
ple. It was a natural sympathy for his honest 
but poorer neighbor, for whom he had battled 
ever since life meant more to him than play. 
His errand being one of friendly interest, and 
not of mere curiosity, there was never any 
danger of his seeming to patronize by his 
presence, though, if he thought he detected the 
signs of it, he quickly took himself out of the 
way. . With the children there was, of course, 
never any peril of that, and they were chums 
together without long introduction. "I sup- 
pose we could not even go among them now- 
adays without their having to call out the 
police reserves," he complained in his letter. 
Though he was followed by a cheering crowd 
on our last visit to the Sullivan Street School, 
it had not yet quite come to that. He pulled 
his coat collar up about his face, and we es- 
caped around the corner. 

[349] 



THEODORE ROOSEVELT 

The big brown eyes of the little lads grew 
bigger and darker yet that day as he told 
them of his regiment, and of his Italian 
bugler who blew his trumpet in their first fight, 
telling the Rough-Riders to advance under 
cover, or to charge, until a Spanish bullet 
clipped off the two middle fingers of the hand 
that held the bugle. Then he went and had it 
dressed and came back and helped carry in the 
wounded, all through the rest of the fight, with 
his damaged hand. He told them of his stan- 
dard-bearer who carried the flag right through 
a storm of bullets that tore it to shreds; of 
how his men were such good fighters that they 
never gave back an inch, though a fourth of 
them all were either killed or wounded; and 
yet no sooner was the fighting over than they 
all gave half of their hardtack to the starving 
women and children who came out of San- 
tiago. And he showed them that true manhood 
and tenderness toward the weak go always 
together, and that the boy who was good to 
his mother and sister and little brother, decent 
and clean in his life, would grow up to be the 
best American citizen, who would always be 
there when he was wanted. They almost for- 

[350] 



CHILDREN TRUST HIM 

got to applaud when he stopped, so breathlessly 
had they hung upon every word. But they 
made good their omission. Talk about rous- 
ing the military spirit which some of my good 
friends so dread — I think he kindled some- 
thing that day in those little hearts, whom, 
unthinking, we had passed by, that will tell for 
our country in years to come. I should not be 
afraid of rousing any amount of the fighting 
spirit that is bound to battle for the weak and 
the defenseless and the right. And that is the 
kind he stirs wherever he goes. 

Sometimes, when I speak of the children of 
the poor, some one says to me, — once it was the 
great master of a famous school, — " Yes, they 
have their hardships ; but God help the children 
of the rich who have none! " And he is right. 
In his lif e Theodore Roosevelt furnishes the 
precise antidote for the idleness and the sel- 
fishness that threaten to eat the heart out of 
theirs. His published writings fairly run over, 
from the earliest day, with the gospel of work, 
and surely he has practised what he preaches 
as few have. " Theodore Roosevelt, a bright 
precocious boy, aged twelve," wrote a distin- 
guished New York physician of him, in his 

[351] 



THEODORE ROOSEVELT 

"case-book," thirty-odd years ago; and added 
to his partner, " He ought to make his mark 
in the world but for the difficulty that he has 
a rich father" ; so he told me after Roosevelt 
had become Governor. It was a difficulty,— 
is with too many to-day. It is not Roosevelt's 
least merit that he has shown to those how to 
overcome it. But I own that my heart turns 
to him as the champion of his poorer brother, 
ever eager and ready to give him a helping 
hand. When I read, in the accounts of his 
journey in the West, of the crowd that be- 
sieged his train, and how he picked out a little 
crippled child in it, and took it up in his arms, 
then I knew him as I have seen him over and 
over again, and as I love him best. I knew him 
then for the son of his big-hearted father, to 
whom wrong and suffering of any kind, any- 
where, appealed with such an irresistible claim 
that in his brief lifetime he became the great- 
est of moral forces in my city. 

Then I see him as he stood that day on the 
car platform at Greenport, shaking hands with 
the school children that came swarming down 
just as the train was going to pull out. I see 
him spy the forlorn little girl in the threadbare 

[352] 



CHILDREN TRUST HIM 

coat, last among them all, who had given up 
in dumb despair, for how should she ever reach 
her hero through that struggling crowd, with 
the engineer even then tooting the signal to 
start? And I see him leap from the plat- 
form and dive into the surging tide like a 
strong swimmer striking from the shore, make 
a way through the shouting mob of youngsters 
clear to where she was on the outskirts looking 
on hopelessly, seize and shake her hand as if 
his very heart were in his, and then catch the 
moving train on a run, while she looked after 
it, her pale, tear-stained face one big, happy 
smile. That was Roosevelt, every inch of him, 
and don't you like him, too? 

People laugh a little, sometimes, and poke 
fun at his " race suicide," but to him the chil- 
dren mean home, family, the joy of the young 
years, and the citizenship of to-morrow, all in 
one. And I do not think we have yet made 
out to the full what the ideal of home, held 
as he holds it, means to us all in a man whose 
life is avowedly given to public affairs, and 
whose way has led him clear to the top. After 
all, we sum up in the one word all that is worth 
working for and fighting for. With that gone, 

[353] 



THEODORE ROOSEVELT 

what were left? But it has seemed in this 
generation as if every influence, especially in 
our big cities, were hostile to the home, and 
that was one reason why I hailed the coming 
of this plain man of old-time ideals into our 
people's life, and wanted him to be as close 
to it as he could get. His enemies never un- 
derstood either the one or the other. I re- 
member when in the Police Department they 
had him shadowed at night, thinking to catch 
him " off his guard." He flushed angrily 
when he heard it. 

"What!" he cried, "going home to my 
babies?." 

But his anger died in a sad little laugh of 
pity and contempt. That was their way. 
They could not understand. And to-day he is 
the beloved Chief of the Nation ; and where are 
they? 

When he came home, his first errand, when 
the children were little, was always to the nurs- 
ery. Nowadays they are big enough to run 
to meet him — and they do, with a rush. I came 
home with him one day when he was in the 
Navy Department, and he tempted me to go 
up with him to see the babies. 

[354] 



CHILDREN TRUST HIM 

" But not to play bear," said Mrs. Roose- 
velt, warningly; "the baby is being put to 
sleep." 

No, he would not play bear, he promised, 
and we went up. But it is hard not to play 
bear when the baby squirms out of the nurse's 
arms and growls and claws at you like a veri- 
table little cub ; and in five minutes Mrs. Roose- 
velt, coming to investigate the cause of the 
noise in the nursery, opened the door upon 
the wildest kind of a circus, with the baby 
screaming his delight. I can recall nothing 
more amusing than that tableau, with the silent 
shape upon the threshold striving hard to put 
on a look of great sternness, and him, meekly 
apologetic, on the floor with the baby, ex- 
plaining, " Well, Edith, it was this way—" 
We never found out which way it was, for the 
humor of the situation was too much for us, 
— and the baby was thoroughly awake by that 
time, anyway. I say I can think of nothing 
funnier, unless it be Kermit taking his pet rat 
out of his pocket at the breakfast-table in the 
White House, and letting it hop across for my 
inspection. It was a kangaroo-rat, and it 
nibbled very daintily the piece of sugar the 

[355] 



THEODORE ROOSEVELT 

President gave it. But it was something new 
to me then. I have heard of all sorts of things 
in a boy's pocket,— fish-hooks and nails and 
bits of colored glass. But a live rat, never ! 

Kermit was along, last summer, when the 
President and Mrs. Roosevelt went down in 
the Sylph to Twin Island, to visit the summer 
home of my people in Henry Street. 1 He is n't 
a bit awed by the Presidency. 

'■ U-ugh! " he said, with a look of comic con- 
cern, as the President leaped into the launch, 
" something heavy went over then." 

That was the day the children of the East 
Side will remember to the last day of their lives. 
They absolutely deserted their dinner when 
word was brought that the Sylph had hove to 
outside the rocks, and with a wild rush made 
for the shore, where they stood and waved their 
flags and shouted their welcome. " Three 
cheers for the red, white, and blue ! " And his 
foot had hardly touched the shore before there 
were from six to a dozen youngsters hanging 
to each hand, and plying him with questions as 
they danced up the jungle-path to the house, 

1 The Fresh Air Home of the Jacob A. Riis House in Henry 

Street is on Twin Island in Pelham Bay Park. 

[356] 



CHILDREN TRUST HIM 

every one trying to look into his face while 
they skipped and talked, so that at least half 
of them were walking backward on the toes of 
those next to them all the while. No fear of 
patronizing there. They were chums on the 
minute. If anything, they did the patroniz- 
ing, the while their mothers were escorting 
Mrs. Roosevelt with simple dignity, proud of 
their guest, and touched in their innermost 
hearts by her coming among them. 

" Was that your ship what was all lit up out 
there last night? " I heard one of the young- 
sters ask the President; and another, who had 
hold of the skirt of his coat, took in the island 
with one wide sweep of his unclaimed hand: 
"Ain't it bully?" 

And it was. Not a sign " Keep off the grass " 
on the whole island ; free license to roam where 
they pleased, to wade and to fish and to gather 
posies, or to sit on the rocks and sing. The 
visitors went from the woods to the house, saw 
the big bedrooms, — so big that when the trees 
outside waved their branches in the patch of 
moonlight on the floor, the children at first hud- 
dled together, frightened, in a corner. They 
felt as if they were outside in a strange coun- 

f357] 



THEODORE ROOSEVELT 

try. The whole tenement flat in the stony 
street could easily have been packed into one 
of those rooms. They saw them eat and play 
and skip about in happiness such as their life 
had been stranger to before,— these children of 
few opportunities; and the President turned 
to me with a joyous little laugh: 

" Oh, Jacob! what monument to man is there 
of stone or bronze that equals that of the hap- 
piness of these children and mothers? " 

That was a great day, indeed. Twin Island, 
the home of wealth and fashion till the city 
made a park alongshore and gave us the use 
of the deserted mansion, never saw its like. 

The Christmas bells are ringing as I write 
this, and they take me back to that holiday 
season, half a dozen years ago, when I was mis- 
taken for Mr. Roosevelt with startling results. 
It happened once or twice, when he was Police 
Commissioner, that people made that mistake. 
They could not have been very discerning ; but, 
whether or no, it did me no harm. I was glad 
of the compliment. This time I had gone to 
see the newsboys in the Duane Street lodging- 
house get their Christmas dinner. There were 
six or seven hundred of them, and as they 

[358] 



CHILDREN TRUST HIM 

marched past to the long tables where the 
plates of roast turkey stood in expectant rows, 
with a whole little mince-pie at each plate, 
the little shavers were last in the line. They 
were just as brimful of mischief as they could 
be, — that was easy to see. The superintendent 
pulled my sleeve as they went by, with a "Watch 
out now and you '11 see some fun." What he 
meant I did n't know then. I saw only a swift 
movement of their hands as they went by the 
table, — too swift for me to follow. I found out 
when they sat down and eight grimy little 
hands shot up and eight aggrieved little voices 
piped : 

" Mister, I ain't got no pie! " 

" What! " said the superintendent, with an- 
other wink to me; "no pie! There must be; 
I put it there myself. Let 's see about that." 

And he went over and tapped the first and 
the smallest of the lads on the stomach, where 
his shirt bulged. 

"What 's that?" he said, feeling of the 
bulge. 

" Me pie," said the lad, unabashed. " I wuz 
afeard it w'd get stole on me, and so I—" 

They had " swiped " the pies in passing. 

[359] 



THEODORE ROOSEVELT 

" Never mind," said the superintendent,— 
" never mind, we '11 forgive and forget. It 's 
Christmas! Go ahead, boys, and eat." And 
six hundred pairs of knives and forks flashed, 
and six hundred pairs of jaws and six hundred 
tongues wagged all at once, until you could n't 
hear yourself think. 

But one of the lads, who had not taken his 
eyes from me, suddenly saw a light. He 
pointed his knife straight at me and piped 
out so that they all heard it : 

"I know you! I seen yer pitcher in the 
papers. You 're a P'lice Commissioner. 
You 're— you 're— Teddy Roosevelt! " 

If a bomb had fallen into the meeting, I 
doubt if the effect would have been greater. 
A silence fell, so deep that you would have 
heard a pin drop— where, a moment before, the 
noise of a dray going over the pavement would 
have been drowned in the din. Glancing down 
the table where the little shavers sat, I saw a 
stealthy movement under cover, and the eight 
stolen pies appeared with a common accord 
over the edge and were replaced as suddenly 
as they had gone ! 

He laughed, when I told him of it, as I had 

[360] 




^ ft 

O 



CHILDREN TRUST HIM 

seldom seen him laugh, and said it was a great 
compliment. And so it was : it was evidence of 
the respect he was held in as Police Com- 
missioner. Twin Island told the other end of 
the story, and it was even better. 



[361] 



XV 

THE PRESIDENT'S POLICIES 



XV 

THE PRESIDENT'S POLICIES 

IS AID I would not meddle with the Presi- 
dent's policies, and neither will I from the 
point of view of statecraft; for of that I 
know less than nothing. But how now, looking 
at them through the man I have tried to show 
you? Do his " policies " not become the plain 
expression of his character, of the man? Ask 
yourself and answer the question whether he 
has " made good " the promise which any one 
not wilfully blind could see. Lots of people 
were uneasy when he became President. It 
was natural, in the excitement over the murder 
of President McKinley. Roosevelt was young, 
he was hot-headed, hasty, things were going to 
be upset— that was what we heard. Perhaps 
they looked back and saw that no Vice-Presi- 
dent had ever succeeded who did not dismiss 

[365] 



THEODORE ROOSEVELT 

the cabinet of his dead chief and set up for 
himself. But this President did not let the day 
pass, upon which he took the oath, without ask- 
ing McKinley's advisers to stay and be his, 
all of them. It was politically wise, for it al- 
layed the unrest. But it was something beside 
that: it was the natural thing for Roosevelt 
to do. He knew the cabinet, and what they 
could do. 

"You know well enough,' ' he said once, when 
we were speaking of it, " that I am after the 
thing to be done. It is the fitness of the tool to 
do the work I am concerned about, not my in- 
venting of it. What does that matter? " 

He found in Attorney-General Knox, for 
instance, a corporation lawyer whose very ex- 
perience as such had made him see clearly the 
unwisdom, to look at it merely from the point 
of view of their own security, of the arrogance 
that lay ill concealed at the bottom of the deal- 
ings of organized wealth with the rest of man- 
kind. And splendidly has he battled for the 
rights of us all — theirs and ours. The utter 
mystery to me is that corporate wealth has not 
long before this made out that there can be no 
worse misfit and no greater peril to itself in a 

[366] 



THE PRESIDENT'S POLICIES 

government of the people than to have the feel- 
ing grow that money can buy unfair privilege. 
" But it is true, and always has been," says my 
Wall Street neighbor who has the courage of 
his convictions. Then, if that be so, is he so 
blind that he cannot see the danger of it, since 
the very soul of the Republic is in the chal- 
lenge that it shall not be true forever; that, / 
with every just premium on honest industry, i 
men shall have somewhere near a fair chance 
at the start ; that they shall not be damned into 
economic slavery any more than into political 
slavery ? Is he so blind that he cannot see that 
the irrepressible conflict cannot be sidetracked 
by any subterfuge, by the purchase of delega- 
tions, the plotting of politicians, the defeat of 
Presidents? I used to think that the great 
captains of industry must be the wisest of men, 
and so indeed they need be in their special 
fields. But where is their common sense that 
they cannot see so plain a thing? 

Unless, indeed, they think that the Republic 
is a mere fake, government by the people and 
of the people and for the people a fad, a 
phrase behind which to plot securely for a 
hundred years more, — life with no other mean- 

[367] 



THEODORE ROOSEVELT 

ing than to fill pockets and belly while they 
last ! In which case I pity them from the bot- 
tom of my heart. For what a meaning to read 
into life, one little end of which lies within 
our ken, with the key to all the rest, as far as 
we are able to grasp it here, in fair dealing 
with the brother! 

I have said that I speak for myself in these 
pages; but for once you may take it that I 
speak for Theodore Roosevelt too. That is 
what he thinks. That is the underlying thought 
of his oft-expressed philosophy, that the poor- 
est plan for an American to act upon is that 
of " some men down," and the safest that of 
" all men up." For, whether for good or ill, up 
we go or down, poor and rich, white or black, 
all of us together in the end, in the things 
that make for real manhood. And the making 
of that manhood and the bringing of it to the 
affairs of life and making it tell there, is the 
business of the Republic. 

How, so thinking, could he have taken any 
other attitude than he has on the questions that 
seem crowding to a solution these days be- 
cause there is at last a man at the head who will 
not dodge, but deal squarely with them as they 

[368] 



THE PRESIDENT'S POLICIES 

come? How should he have "intended in- 
sult " to the South, whose blood flowed in his 
mother's veins, when he bade to his table one of 
the most distinguished citizens of our day, by 
whose company at tea Queen Victoria thought 
herself honored because he represents the ef- 
fort, the hope, of raising a whole race of men 
—our black-skinned fellow-citizens— up to the 
grasp of what citizenship means? And where 
is there a man fool enough to believe that the 
clamor of silly reactionists whom history, whom 
life, have taught nothing, should move him one 
hair's-breadth from the thing he knows is right 
—even from " the independent and fearless 
course he has followed in his attempt to secure 
decent and clean officials in the South"? I 
am quoting from the Montgomery (Alabama) 
" Times," a manly Democratic newspaper that 
is not afraid of telling the truth. I have just 
now read the clear, patient, and statesmanlike 
answer of Carl Schurz to the question, "Can 
the South solve the negro problem? " He 
thinks it can if it will follow its best impulses 
and its clearest sense, not the ranting of those 
who would tempt it to moral and economic ruin 
with the old ignorant cry of " Keep the nig- 

[369] 



THEODORE ROOSEVELT 

ger down! " And I know that the South has 
no truer and fairer friend in that cause than 
the President, who believes in " all men up," 
and who with genuine statesmanship looks 
beyond the strife and the prejudice of to-day 
to the harvest-time that is coming. 

" On this whole question," he sighed, when 
we had threshed it over one day, " we are in 
a back eddy. I don't know how we are going 
to get out, or when. The one way I know that 
does not lead out is for us to revert to a condi- 
tion of semi-slavery. That leads us farther 
in, because it does not stop there" 

Let the South ponder it well, for it is true. 
And let it be glad that there is a man in the 
White House to voice its better self. " A 
nation cannot remain half free and half slave " 
or half peon. And it can never throw off its 
industrial fetters and take the place to which 
it is entitled until it is willing to build upon 
the dignity of manhood and of labor, of which 
serfdom, by whatever name, is the flat denial. 

Truly, the world moves with giant strides 
once the policy of postponement is sidetracked 
and notice is served that the man at the throttle 
is willing to give ear. I wonder now how many 

[3T0] 



THE PRESIDENTS POLICIES 

of us, when it comes right down to hard facts, 
consider government, the Republic, the general 
scheme of the world, a kind of modus vivendi 
to make sure we are not interfered with while 
we are at the game— never mind the rest? But 
yesterday the shout arose that the President 
was inviting " labor men " to break bread at the 
White House — white men, these. Well, why 
not labor men, if they are otherwise fit com- 
panions for the President of the United 
States? That these were, no one questioned. 
It was at that luncheon, I suppose, that one 
of them made the remark that at last there 
was a hearing for him and his fellows. I have 
forgotten the precise occasion, but I remember 
the President's pregnant answer: 

" Yes ! The White House door, while I am 
here, shall swing open as easily for the labor 
man as for the capitalist, and no easier" 

It seems as if it was in the same week that 
the President had been denounced in labor 
meetings as " unfriendly " because he would 
not let union rules supersede United States law 
in the office of the public printer. Only a little 
while before, resolutions of organized labor had 
denounced him as " unfair " because he had 

[371] 



THEODORE ROOSEVELT 

opposed mob-rule with rifles in an Arizona 
mining dispute, and the editors of " organs " 
that had not yet got through denouncing him 
as a time-server because of his action in the 
anthracite coal strike were having a hard and 
bewildering time of it. How many of their 
readers they succeeded in mixing up beside 
themselves, I don't know. Some, no doubt ; for 
even so groundless a lie as this, that President 
Roosevelt had jumped Leonard Wood over 
four hundred and fifty veteran soldiers to a 
major-generalship because he was his friend, 
found believers when it was repeated day after 
day by the newspapers that cared even less for 
the four hundred and fifty veterans than they 
did for Leonard Wood, merely using him as a 
convenient screen from behind which to hit 
Roosevelt. Whereas, the truth is that Gen- 
eral Wood was not " jumped " a single num- 
ber by his friend, but came up for confirma- 
tion in the regular routine of promotion by 
seniority of rank, all the jumping having been 
done years before by President McKinley for 
cause, and heartily applauded by the American 
people. Of all this his defamers were per- 
fectly well aware ; and so they must have been 

[372] 



THE PRESIDENTS POLICIES 

of the facts in the labor situation of which they 
tried to make capital, if I may use so odd a 
term. It was just as simple as all the rest of 
President Roosevelt's doings. 

" Finance, tariff," he said to me once,— 
" these are important. But the question of 
the relations of capital and labor is vital. Your 
children and mine will be happy in this country 
of ours, or the reverse, according to whether 
the decent man in 1950 feels friendly toward 
the other decent man whether he is a wage- 
worker or not. ' I am for labor,' or ' I am for 
capital,' substitutes something else for the im- 
mutable laws of righteousness. The one and 
the other would let the class man in, and letting 
him in is the one thing that will most quickly 
eat out the heart of the Republic. I am neither 
for labor nor for capital, but for the decent 
man against the selfish and indecent man who 
will not act squarely." 

To a President of that mind came the coal- 
strike question in October, 1902, with its de- 
mand for action in a new and untried field— 
a perilous field for a man with political as- 
pirations, that was made clear without de- 
lay. Then, if ever, was the time for the policy 

[373] 



THEODORE ROOSEVELT 

of postponement, had his personal interests 
weighed heavier in the scale than the public 
good. To me, sitting by and watching the 
strife of passions aroused all over the land, 
it brought a revelation of the need of charity 
for the neighbor who does not know. From 
the West, where they burn soft coal, and could 
know nothing of the emergency, but where 
they had had their own troubles with the 
miners, came counsel to let things alone. Men 
who thought I had the President's ear sent 
messages of caution. " Go slow," was their 
burden; " tell him not to be hasty, not to in- 
terfere." While from the Atlantic seaboard 
cities, where coal was twelve dollars a ton, with 
every bin empty and winter at the door, such a 
cry of dread went up as no one who heard it 
ever wants to hear again. From my own city, 
with its three million toilers, Mayor Low tele- 
graphed to the President: 

I cannot emphasize too strongly the immense in- 
justice of the existing coal situation to millions of 
innocent people. The welfare of a large section of 
the country imperatively demands the immediate re- 
sumption of anthracite coal mining. In the name of 
the City of New York I desire to protest through 

[ 374 ] 



THE PRESIDENT'S POLICIES 

you, against the continuance of the existing situation, 
which, if prolonged, involves, at the very least, the cer- 
tainty of great suffering and heavy loss to the in- 
habitants of this city, in common with many others. 

Governor Crane of Massachusetts came on 
to Washington to plead the cause of the East- 
ern cities, whose plight, if anything, was worse. 
The miners stood upon their rights. Organ- 
ized capital scouted interference defiantly, 
threatening disaster to the Republican party if 
the President stepped in. The cry of the cities 
swelled into a wail of anguish and despair, and 
still the mines were idle, the tracks of the 
coal roads blocked for miles with empty cars. 
In the midst of it all the " hasty " man in the 
White House wrote in reply to my anxious 
inquiry : 

" I am slowly going on, step by step, work- 
ing within my limited range of powers and en- 
deavoring neither to shirk any responsibilities 
nor yet to be drawn into such hasty and violent 
action as almost invariably provokes reaction." 

Long after it was over, Secretary of the 
Navy Moody told me of what was happening 
then in Washington. 

" I remember the President sitting with his 

[ 375 ] 



THEODORE ROOSEVELT 

game leg in a chair while the doctors dressed 
it," he said (it was after the accident in Massa- 
chusetts in which the President's coach was 
smashed and the secret service man on the 
driver's seat killed). " It hurt, and now and 
then he would wince a bit, while he discussed 
the strike and the appeals for help that grew 
more urgent with every passing hour. The 
outlook was grave; it seemed as if the cost of 
interference might be political death. I saw 
how it tugged at him, just when he saw chances 
of serving his country which he had longed for 
all the years, to meet— this. It was human na- 
ture to halt. He halted long enough to hear it 
all out: the story of the suffering in the big 
coast cities, of schools closing, hospitals with- 
out fuel, of the poor shivering in their homes. 
Then he set his face grimly and said: 

" ' Yes, I will do it. I suppose that ends me; 
but it is right, and I will do it.' 

"I don't agree with labor in all its demands," 
added the Secretary. " I think it is unreason- 
able in some of them, or some of its represen- 
tatives are. But in the main line it is eternally 
right, and it is only by owning it and helping 
it to its rights that we can successfully choke 

[376] 



THE PRESIDENTS POLICIES 

off the exorbitant demands.' ' And in my soul 
I said amen, and was glad that with such 
problems to solve the President had found such 
friends to help. 

Many times, during the anxious days that 
followed, I thought with wonder of the pur- 
blind folk who called Roosevelt hasty. For 
it seemed sometimes as if the insolence of the 
coal magnates were meant to provoke him to 
anger. But no word betrayed what he felt, 
what thousands of his fellow-citizens felt as 
they read the reports of the conferences at the 
White House. The most consummate states- 
manship steered us safely between reefs that 
beset the parley at every point, and the coun- 
try was saved from a calamity the extent and 
consequences of which it is hard to imagine. 
Judge Gray, the chairman of the commission 
that settled the strike, said, when it was all 
history, that the crisis confronting the Presi- 
dent " was more grave and threatening than 
any since the Civil War, threatening not only 
the comfort and health, but the safety and 
good order of the nation." And he gave to the 
President unstinted praise for what he did. 
The London " Times," speaking for all Eu- 

[377] 



THEODORE ROOSEVELT 

rope in hailing the entrance of government 
upon a new field full of great possibilities, said 
editorially, " In the most quiet and unobtrusive 
manner, President Roosevelt has done a very 
big thing, and an entirely new thing." 

He alone knew at what cost. Invalid, un- 
dergoing daily agony as the doctors scraped 
the bone of his injured leg, he wrote to the 
Governor of Massachusetts, who sent him " the 
thanks of every man, woman, and child in the 
country " : 

"Yes, we have put it through. But, hea- 
vens and earth! it has been a struggle." 

It was the nearest I ever knew him to come 
to showing the strain he had been under. 

The story of the strike, and of how it was 
settled by the President's commission, none of 
us has forgotten. That commission did not 
make permanent peace between capital and 
labor, but it took a longer stride toward mak- 
ing a lasting basis for such a peace than we had 
taken yet; and I can easily understand the 
President's statement to me that, if there were 
nothing else to his credit, he would be content 
to go out of office upon that record alone. For 
it was truly a service to render. I had sup- 

[378] 



THE PRESIDENT'S POLICIES 

posed that we all understood until I ran up 
against a capitalistic friend of the " irrecon- 
cilable " stripe. He complained bitterly of the 
President's mixing in; had he kept his hands 
off, the strike would have settled itself in a very 
little while; the miners would have gone back 
to work. I said that I saw no sign of it. 

No, he supposed not; but it was so, all the 
same. " We had their leaders all bought," said 
he. 

He lied, to be plain about it, for John Mitch- 
ell and his men had proved abundantly that 
they were not that kind. And, besides, he could 
not speak for the mine-operators; he was not 
one of them. But the thing was not for whom 
he spoke, but what it was he said, with such 
callous unconcern. Think of it for a mo- 
ment and tell me which was, when all is said 
and done, the greater danger: the strike, with 
all it might have stood for, or the cynicism 
that framed that speech? The country might 
outlive the horrors of a coal-famine in mid- 
winter, but this other thing would kill as sure 
as slow poison. Mob-rule was not to be feared 
like that. 

There comes to my mind, by contrast, some- 

[379 ] 



THEODORE ROOSEVELT 

thing John Mitchell said to the Southwestern 
miners' convention, after the strike, that shows 
the quality of the man and of his leadership. 

" Some men," he said, " who own the mines 
think they own the men, too; and some men 
who work in the mines think they own them. 
Both are wrong. The mines belong to the 
owners. You belong to yourselves." 

Upon those who said that the President had 
surrendered the country, horse, foot, and dra- 
goons, to organized labor, his action a few 
months later, in sending troops within the hour 
in which they were demanded to prevent vio- 
lence by miners in Arizona, ought to have put a 
quietus. But it did not; they gibbered away 
as before. The reason is plain: they did not 
themselves believe what they said. The Miller 
case followed hard upon it, with no better ef- 
fect. But the Miller case is so eloquent both 
of the President's stand upon this most urgent 
of all questions in our day, and of his diplo- 
macy,— which is nothing else than his honest 
effort, with all the light he can get upon a 
thing, to do the right as he sees it,— that it is 
worth setting down here as part of his record, 
and a part to be remembered. 

[380] 



THE PRESIDENT'S POLICIES 

Miller was an assistant foreman in the gov- 
ernment bookbindery. He was discharged by 
the public printer, upon the demand of organ- 
ized labor, on charges of " flagrant non -union- 
ism," he having been expelled from Local 
Union No. 4 of the International Brotherhood 
of Bookbinders. His discharge was in defiance 
of the civil service laws, and the matter having 
come before the President, he ordered that he 
be reinstated. In doing so he pointed to this 
finding of the anthracite coal strike commis- 
sion which organized labor had accepted : 

It is adjudged and awarded that no person shall 
be refused employment or in any way discriminated 
against on account of membership or non-member- 
ship in any labor organization, and that there shall 
be no discrimination against or interference with any 
employe who is not a member of any labor organization 
by members of such organization. 

" It is, of course," was the President's com- 
ment, " mere elementary decency to require 
that all the government departments shall be 
handled in accordance with the principle thus 
clearly and fearlessly enunciated." But there 
are people who do not understand, on both 
sides of the line. Seventy-two unions in the 

[381] 



THEODORE ROOSEVELT 

Central Labor Union of the District of Co- 
lumbia " resolved " that to reinstate Miller 
was " an unfriendly act." The big leaders, 
including Mr. Gompers and Mr. Mitchell, 
came to plead with the President. Miller was 
not fit, they said. 

That was another matter, replied the Presi- 
dent. He would find out. As to Miller's be- 
ing a non-union man, the law he was sworn to 
enforce recognized no such distinction. " I 
am President," he said, " of all the people of the 
United States, without regard to creed, color, 
birthplace, occupation, or social distinction. In 
the employment and dismissal of men in the 
government service I can no more recognize the 
fact that a man does or does not belong to a 
union as being for or against him than I can 
recognize the fact that he is a Protestant or a 
Catholic, a Jew or a Gentile, as being for or 
against him." 

The newspapers did not tell us that the White 
House rang with applause, as did Clarendon 
Hall on that other occasion when he met the 
labor men as a police commissioner. I do not 
know whether it did or not, for I was not there. 
But if in their hearts there was no response 

[382] 



THE PRESIDENT'S POLICIES 

to that sentiment, they did not represent the 
best in their cause or in their people; for of 
nothing am I better persuaded than that, as 
the President said in his Labor Day speech 
at Syracuse, " Our average fellow-citizen is a 
sane and healthy man who believes in decency 
and has a wholesome mind." And that was the 
gospel of sanity and decency and wholesome- 
ness all rolled into one. 

Well, these are his policies. Can any one 
who has followed me so far in my effort to 
show what Theodore Roosevelt is, and why he 
is what he is, conceive of his having any other ? 
And is there an American worthy of the name 
who would want him to have any other? Cuba 
is free, and she thanks President Roosevelt for 
her freedom. But for his insistence that the 
nation's honor was bound up in the comple- 
tion of the work his Rough-Riders began at 
Las Guasimas and on San Juan hill, a cold 
conspiracy of business greed would have left 
her in the lurch, to fall by and by reluctantly 
into our arms, bankrupt and helpless, while the 
sneer of the cynics that we were plucking that 
plum for ourselves would have been justified. 
The Venezuela imbroglio that threatened the 

[383] 



THEODORE ROOSEVELT 

peace of the world has added, instead, to the 
prestige of The Hague Court of Arbitration 
through the wisdom and lofty public spirit of 
the American President. The man who was 
called hasty and unsafe has done more for the 
permanent peace of the world than all the 
diplomats of the day. The Panama Canal is 
at last to be a fact, with benefit which no one 
can reckon to the commerce of the world, of our 
land, and most of all to the Southern States, 
that are trying to wake up from their long 
sleep. I confess that the half-hearted criti- 
cism I hear of the way of the administration 
with Panama provokes in me a desire to laugh ; 
for it reminds me of the way the case was put 
to me by a man, than whom there is no one in 
the United States who should know better. 

" It is just," he said, " as if a fellow were to 
try to hold you up, and you were to wrench the 
gun away from him, so "—with an expressive 
gesture; " and then some bystander should cry 
out, ' Oh, the poor fellow! you Ye taken away 
his gun! Maybe he would n't have shot at all; 
and then it is his gun, anyway, and you such a 
big fellow, and he so small. Oh, shame ! ' 

We can smile now, but Assistant Secretary 

[384] 



THE PRESIDENT'S POLICIES 

of State Loomis lifted the curtain enough, the 
other day, to give us a glimpse of what might 
have been, had the Colombian plot to confiscate 
the French canal company's forty millions of 
property, when the concession lapsed in an- 
other year, been allowed to hatch. Half the 
world might have been at war then. I think 
we may all well be glad, as he truly said, that 
" there was in Washington, upon this truly 
fateful occasion, a man who possessed the in- 
sight, the knowledge, the spirit, and the cour- 
age to seize the opportunity to strike a blow, 
the results of which can be fraught only with 
peace and good to the whole world." 

I am not a jingo; but when some things hap- 
pen I just have to get up and cheer. The way 
our modern American diplomacy goes about 
things is one of them. You remember, don't 
you, when the captains were conferring at 
Tientsin about going to the relief of the 
ministers there that were besieged in their em- 
bassies, and the little jealous rivalries of the 
powers would not let them get anywhere, the 
French and Russians pulling one way, the Ger- 
mans another, the British another, and so on, 
how Captain McCalla got up and said: 

[385 ] 



THEODORE ROOSEVELT 

" Well, gentlemen, you have talked this mat- 
ter over pretty thoroughly and have come to 
no decision. And now I will tell you what I 
am going to do. My minister is in danger, and 
I am going to Peking." Wherefore they all 
went. 

I had to cheer then, and I have to give a 
cheer off and on yet for the man at the helm, 
and to thank God that he sent me over the sea 
to cast in my lot with a country and with a 
people that do not everlastingly follow worm- 
eaten precedent, but are young enough and 
strong enough and daring enough to make it 
when need be. 

" But about his financial policy, about his 
war upon the trusts, the corporations, which 
they say is going to defeat him for reelection, 
you have said nothing. You have offered no de- 
fense." Well, good friend, if you have found 
nothing in these pages that answers your 
question, I am afraid there is little use in my 
saying anything now on the subject. Defense 
I have not offered, because, in the first place, 
I am quite unable to see that there is need of 
any. If there were, I should think the coal 
strike experience, or, later yet, the disclosures 

[386] 



THE PRESIDENT'S POLICIES 

in the ship-building trust case as to what it is 
that ails Wall Street, would have given every- 
body all the information he could wish. The 
President is not, Congress is not, making war 
upon corporations, upon capital. They are 
trying to hold them— through publicity, by 
compelling them to obey the laws their smaller 
competitors have to bow to, and in any other 
lawful and reasonable way — to such respon- 
sibility that they shall not become a power 
full of peril to the people and to themselves. 
For that might mean much and grave 
mischief,— would mean, indeed, unless the 
people were willing to abdicate, which I think 
they are not. That mischief I should like to 
see averted. 

" It is not designed to restrict or control the 
fullest liberty of legitimate business action," — 
I quote from the President's last message,— 
and none such can follow. " Publicity can do 
no harm to the honest corporation. The only 
corporation that has cause to dread it is the 
corporation which shrinks from the light, 
and about the welfare of such we need not be 
over-sensitive. The work of the Department 
of Commerce and Labor has been conditioned 

[387] 



THEODORE ROOSEVELT 

upon this theory, of securing fair treatment 
alike for labor and capital." 

That is all, and nothing has been done that is 
not in that spirit. Perhaps it is natural that a 
corporation like the Standard Oil Company, 
which has amassed enormous wealth through 
a monopoly that enabled it to dictate its own 
freight rates to the utter annihilation of its 
competitors, should object to have the govern- 
ment step in and try to curtail unfair profits. 
Perhaps it is natural for it to object to the anti- 
rebate law, though it comes too late to check its 
greed. 

Perhaps it is natural for some speculating 
concerns to wish to keep their business to them- 
selves ; but it seems to me we have seen enough 
swindling exposed, to be plain about it, these 
last few months, to make a good many people 
wish there had been some way of finding out 
the facts before it was too late. That, again, 
is all there is to that. Nobody is to be hurt, 
nobody can be hurt, except the one that de- 
serves to be. I have faith enough in the Amer- 
ican people to believe that the time has not yet 
come, and will not soon come, when the specu- 
lators can defeat a man running for the Presi- 

[388 ] 



THE PRESIDENT'S POLICIES 

dency on the platform of an equal chance to all 
and special favors to none. If they can, it is 
time we knew it. 

And, in the next place, I have not the least 
idea in the world that the men who are plotting 
against the President do, or ever did, seriously 
question the fairness of his policy. It is him 
they do not want. Let a witness that is cer- 
tainly on the inside tell why. I quote from an 
editorial in the " Wall Street News " — another 
newspaper that dares to tell the truth, it seems : 

It is not because President Roosevelt is antago- 
nistic to capital, or a partner in that hatred of wealth 
which is so odious and so threatening, that certain 
financial interests, expert in the manipulation of the 
markets, are scheming to prevent his election to a 
second term. They know very well that he is no 
enemy to capital. They know that by birthright, 
by education and by long political training he is a 
supporter of sound money, an advocate of a protec- 
tive tariff, a firm upholder of the rights of property. 
They know that he is the last man in the world to lead 
in an assault on capital lawfully applied to the devel- 
opment of the commercial enterprises of the country. 
They have no fear that he will be led by ambition or 
impulse into paths of socialism, or that he will, for 
one moment, give the authority of his name and 
f 389 ] 



THEODORE ROOSEVELT 

office to the aid of organized labor in any movement 
to crush out competition, and thus to establish a mo- 
nopoly more destructive to the interests of the coun- 
try than even the most corrupt, oppressive, and pow- 
erful trust. 

What, then, is the reason why these financial in- 
terests are scheming to defeat him? The answer is 
plain. 

They cannot control him. 

All efforts to control him through his ambition 
have failed. Any attempt to control him by grosser 
forms of bribery would, of course, be useless. Ef- 
fort to move him by sophistical arguments framed 
by clever corporation lawyers into departure from 
the paths of duty and law have not succeeded. He 
is a friend of capital. He is a friend of labor. But 
he is no slave of either. 

And so those Wall Street interests have de- 
cided that he is to be driven out of office. They 
will prevent his renomination, if they can. If 
not, they will try to beat him at the polls with 
money. "All the money is to be on the other 
side this year." They made the beginning in 
New York this last fall. It is no secret that 
enormous amounts of money were thrown into 
the campaign in the last two weeks to turn the 
election. Low and reform were sacrificed. 

[ 390 ] 




PRESIDENT ROOSEVELT AT HIS DESK IN THE 
EXECUTIVE OFFICE 

COPYRIGHT 1903 BY WALD.ON FAWCETT 



THE PRESIDENT'S POLICIES 

Next it is to be Roosevelt. " Money talks," is 
their creed. Other arguments are wasted. 

Well, as to that, we shall see. There is still 
the American people to hear from. 



[391] 



XVI 
A YOUNG MEN'S HERO 



XVI 
A YOUNG MEN'S HERO 

I HAVE told you what Theodore Roose- 
velt is like as I see him. I have told of 
the man, the friend, the husband and fa- 
ther, because back of his public career, of his 
great office, I see himself always; and to my 
mind so it must be that you will take him 
to your heart as the President, also, and find 
the key to all he is and stands for. Knowing 
him as he really is, you cannot help trusting 
him. I would have everybody feel that way 
toward him who does not do so already ; for we 
are facing much too serious times, you and 
he and all of us, to be honestly at odds 
where we should pull together. As for the 
others who are not honestly at odds with him, 
who are " working for their own pockets all 
the time," who are kin to the malefactors who 

[ 395] 



THEODORE ROOSEVELT 

burned up four thousand Christmas-trees in 
Philadelphia the other day to reduce the sup- 
ply and force up the price of the remaining 
ones — what sweet Christmas joys must have 
been theirs! — I care nothing for them. I 
would as lief have them all in front and within 
fighting reach from the start. They belong 
there, anyhow. 

And now, what does it all mean ? Why have 
I written it? Just to boom Roosevelt for the 
Presidency in the election that comes soon? 
No, not that. I shall rejoice to see him elected, 
and I shall know that never was my vote put 
to better use for my country than when I cast 
it for him. To have him beaten by the Christ- 
mas-tree cabal would argue an unpreparedness, 
an unfitness to grapple with the real problems 
of the day, that might well dishearten the pa- 
triot. But this not because of himself, much 
as I like to hear the whole country shout for the 
friend I love, but because of what he stands 
for. It matters less that Theodore Roosevelt 
is President, but it matters a good deal that 
the things prevail which he represents in the 
nation's life. It never mattered more than at 
this present day of ours— right now. Yester- 

[ 396 ] 



A YOUNG MENS HERO 

day I spoke in a New England town, a pros- 
perous, happy town, where the mills were all 
running, property booming, the people busy; 
but there was a fly in the ointment, after all. 
It came out when I expressed my pleasure at 
what I had seen. 

' Yes," they said, " we are all that; and we 
would be perfectly happy but for the meanest 
politics that ever disgraced a town." 

When I settled into my seat in the train to 
think it over, this paragraph from a sermon on 
" Money -madness " stared me in the face — 
curiously, it was preached by the pastor of the 
biggest money-king of them all, so the paper 
said : 

In these days there is such a hunt after wealth that 
the efforts of our best men are withdrawn from the 
public service. The men of the stamp of Jefferson, of 
Washington, who gave themselves to their country, 
are not now to be found in legislative halls ; they are 
corporation lawyers. 

And before I had time to run over in my 
mind the shining exceptions I knew, the Roots, 
the Tafts, the Knoxes, the Garfields, and the 
rest of them, and who only brought out more 

[397] 



THEODORE ROOSEVELT 

sharply the truth of the general statement, in 
comes my neighbor with whom just now I 
fought shoulder to shoulder against Tammany 
in New York, as good and clean and honest 
a fellow as I know, and tells me it is all over. 
Clean discouraged is_ he, and he will never 
spend his time and money in fighting for de- 
cency again. 

' What 's the use? " says he. ' It is all waste 
and foolishness; and, after all, how do I lose 
by some one getting what he wants and pay- 
ing for it? I know this blackmailing business, 
a wide-open town, and all that, — I know it is 
wrong when you come to high principle; but 
we live in a practical, every-day world. Let 
us live and let live. I get what I want, the 
other fellow gets what he wants; and if it is 
worth my paying the price to get it, how am 
I hurt? Is n't it better than all this stew for 
nothing? Tammany 's in and back, and we 
will never win again. I am done with reform." 

He is not; I know it, for I know him. He 
is just tired, and he will get over it. But he 
speaks for a good many who may not get over 
it so easily, arid that is exactly what Tam- 
many banks upon. It is what the enemy hopes 

[398] 



A YOUNG MEN'S HERO 

for in all days : that he may tire out the good, 
convince them that the game is n't worth the 
candle. And right here is the immense value 
of the man whom you cannot tire out, who 
will stand like a rock for the homely virtues, 
for the Ten Commandments, in good and evil 
report, and refuse to budge. For, though men 
sneer at him and call him a grand-stand player, 
as they will, the time will come when he will 
convince them that there is something more 
important than winning to-day or to-morrow, 
where a principle is at stake ; that the function 
of the Republic, of government of the people, 
shall, please God, yet be to make high prin- 
ciple the soul and hope of the practical every- 
day world, even if it takes time to do it; and 
that it is worth losing all our lives long, with 
the lives thrown in, if that be necessary, to have 
it come true in the end. The man who will do 
that, who will take that stand and keep it, is 
beyond price. That is Theodore Roosevelt 
from the ground up. And now you know why 
I have written of him as I have. 

There was never a day that called so loudly 
for such as he, as does this of ours. Not that 
it is worse than other days ; I know it is better. 

[399] 



THEODORE ROOSEVELT 

I find proof of it in the very fact that it is 
as if the age-long fight between good and evil 
had suddenly come to a head, as if all the 
questions of right, of justice, of the brother- 
hood, which we had seen in glimpses before, 
and dimly, had all at once come out in the 
open, craving solution one and all. A battle 
royal, truly! A battle for the man of clean 
hands and clean mind, who can think straight 
and act square; the man who will stand for 
the right " because it is right "; who can say, 
and mean it, that it is hard to fail, but worse 
never to have tried to succeed." A battle for 
him who strives for " that highest form of suc- 
cess which comes, not to the man who desires 
mere easy peace, but to him who does not shrink 
from danger, from hardship or from bitter toil, 
and who out of these wins the splendid ulti- 
mate triumph." I am but quoting his own 
words, and never, I think, did I hear finer than 
those he spoke of Governor Taft when he had 
put by his own preferences and gone to his 
hard and toilsome task in the Philippines; for 
the whole royal, fighting soul of the man was 
in them. 

" But he undertook it gladly," he said, " and 

[ 400] 



A YOUNG MEN'S HERO 

he is to be considered thrice fortunate; for in 
this world the one thing supremely worth hav- 
ing is the opportunity coupled with the capa- 
city to do well and worthily a piece of work the 
doing of which is of vital consequence to the 
welfare of mankind." 

There is his measure. Let now the un- 
derstrappers sputter. With that for our young 
men to grow up to, we need have no fear for 
the morrow. Let it ask what questions it will of 
the Republic, it shall answer them, for we 
shall have men at the oars. 

This afternoon the newspaper that came to 
my desk contained a cable despatch which gave 
me a glow at the heart such as I have not felt 
for a while. Just three lines ; but they told that 
a nation's conscience was struggling victori- 
ously through hate and foul play and treason : 
Captain Dreyfus was to get a fair trial. 
Justice was to be done at last to a once despised 
Jew whose wrongs had held the civilized world 
upon the rack ; and the world was made happy. 
Say now it does not move! It does, where 
there are men to move it, — I said it before: 
men who believe in the right and are willing to 
fight for it. When the children of poverty and 

[401] 



THEODORE ROOSEVELT 

want came to Mulberry Street for justice, 
and I knew they came because Roosevelt had 
been there, I saw in that what the resolute, 
courageous, unyielding determination of one 
man to see right done in his own time could ac- 
complish. I have watched him since in the 
Navy Department, in camp, as Governor, in 
the White House, and more and more I have 
made out his message as being to the young 
men of our day, himself the youngest of our 
Presidents. I know it is so, for when I speak 
to the young about him, I see their eyes kindle, 
and their hand-shake tells me that they want 
to be like him, and are going to try. And then 
I feel that I, too, have done something worth 
doing for my people. For, whether for good 
or for evil, we all leave our mark upon our day, 
and his is that of a clean, strong man who fights 
for the right and wins. 

Now, then, a word to these young men who, 
all over our broad land, are striving up toward 
the standard he sets, for he is their hero by 
right, as he is mine. Do not be afraid to own it. 
The struggle to which you are born, and in 
which you are bound to take a hand if you 
would be men in more than name, is the strug- 

[ 402] 



A YOUNG MEN'S HERO 

gle between the ideal and the husk; for life 
without ideals is like the world without the hope 
of heaven, an empty meaningless husk. It 
is your business to read its meaning' into it 
by making the ideals real. The material things 
of life are good in their day, but they pass 
away; the moral remain to bear witness that 
the high hopes of youth are not mere phan- 
tasms. Theodore Roosevelt lives his ideals; 
therefore you can trust them. Here they are 
in working shape: " Face the facts as you find 
them; strive steadily for the best." " Be never 
content with less than the possible best, and 
never throw away that possible best because it 
is not the ideal best." Maxims, those, for the 
young man who wants to make the most of 
himself and his time. Happily for the world, 
the young man who does not is rare. 

Perhaps I can put what is in my mind in no 
better shape than by giving you his life-rules, 
to which I have seen him live up all these years, 
though I have not often heard him express 
them in so many words. Here is one: 
" It is better to be faithful than famous." 
Look back now upon his career as I have 
sketched it, and see how in being steadfastly 

[403] 



THEODORE ROOSEVELT 

one he has become both. What better character 
could you or I or anybody give our day, which 
the croakers say worships only success? Put 
it the other way, that we refuse to accept the 
goodness that is weak-kneed and cowardly, 
that we demand of the champion of right that 
he shall believe in his cause enough to fight 
for it, and you have it. Look at him in every 
walk of life, from boyhood, when by sheer will- 
power he conquered his puny body that he 
might take his place among men and do a man's 
work, and see how plain, straightforward man- 
liness won its way despite the plotters. See him 
going on his way, bearing no grudges, nursing 
no revenge, — you cannot afford those things if 
you want to make the most of yourself, — be- 
lieving no evil, but ever the best, of his neigh- 
bor, and craving his help for the best. The 
secret of the ages which the wise men sought 
with toil and trouble and missed, he found in his 
path without seeking. The talisman that turns 
dross to gold is your own faith in your fel- 
low-man. Whatever you believe him to be, 
with the faith that makes you love your neigh- 
bor in spite of himself, that he will become. He 
will come up or come down to it, as you make 

[ 404] 



A YOUNG MEN'S HERO 

your demand. Appeal to the animal, and 
watch the claws come out ; appeal to the divine 
in him, and he will show you the heart of your 
brother. As the days passed in Mulberry 
Street, Roosevelt seemed to me more and more 
like a touchstone by rubbing against which the 
true metal of all about him was brought out: 
every rascal became his implacable enemy; the 
honest, his followers almost to a man. 

When, then, you have a bird's-eye view of 
Theodore Roosevelt's career, cast your eye 
down it once more and mark its bearings as a 
" pathway to ruin." That, you remember, was 
what the politicians called it, from the early 
years in Albany down to the present day,— 
honestly enough, after their fashion, for they 
are the keepers of the husk I spoke of, and 
of the power of the ideal they have, can have 
no conception. Study their " path to ruin " 
carefully, and note whither it led, despite the 
" mistakes " with which it was thickly strewn. 

Mistakes! Roosevelt is no more infallible 
than you or I, and no doubt he has made his 
mistakes, though they were not the ones the 
politicians picked out. There is a use for 
mistakes in his plan of life: they are made to 

[ +05] 



THEODORE ROOSEVELT 

learn from. Here is another of his maxims: 
" The only man who makes no mistakes is the 
man who never does anything." He has made 
fewer than most people, because he has taught 
himself from the very start to think quick and 
straight. He makes sure he is right and then 
goes ahead. The snags, if there be any in the 
way, do not trouble him. Dodge them he never 
does, but shoulders the responsibility and goes 
ahead. That is one reason why he has been 
able to do so much in his brief life: he never 
has to be on the defensive, to cover his retreat, 
but is ever ready to go ahead, to attack. 

He is always fair. That is a cardinal virtue 
in a fighter of Anglo-Saxon blood, for we all 
have the love of fair play in us. He never hits 
a man below the belt. Even to the policemen 
whom he searched out at night in the old days 
when as Commissioner he made a rounds- 
man of himself, he gave a fair show. He was 
not out to " make a case " against them, but 
to see that they did their duty. Of every man 
he demands the best that is in him, no more, 
no less. For himself, there is nothing that is 
worth doing at all that is not worth doing as 
well as it can be done. When he was a boy the 

[ 406] 



A YOUNG MEN'S HERO 

wonders of electricity aroused his interest, and 
he pelted a friend, a medical practitioner, with 
questions concerning it. " Other boys asked 
questions," the doctor said, recalling the ex- 
perience; " but Theodore wanted to know the 
nature of the force." There he came to the 
limit of knowledge. But it was so with every- 
thing. What he knows he knows thoroughly, 
because he has learned all he could learn about 
it; and so he is able to give points to his oppo- 
nent and win. For just as in boxing it is 
science, not slugging, that wins, so in life it is 
the man who knows who carries off the prizes 
worth having. He gets all the rewards, the 
other fellow the hard knocks. 

When the work in hand has been done he 
believes in having a good time. No man has 
a better. He put it in words once in my hear- 
ing: " Have all the fun you honestly and de- 
cently can; it is your right." It is part of the 
perfect balance that gets things done, and done 
right. Above all, his conception of life is a 
sane, common-sense one. It is the view which 
leaves the fun out that makes all the trouble. 
Somewhere I have told of my experience in 
Denmark, my old home, where they make but- 

[407] 



THEODORE ROOSEVELT 

ter for a living. I had been away more than 
twenty years, and many things had changed. 
I found the country divided into two camps, 
in matters of religious practice, when in my 
childhood we were one. Now there were the 
" happy Christians," and the " hell-preachers " 
who saw only the wrath to come. Speaking 
with an old friend about the dairy industry, he 
gave me, quite unconsciously, directions that 
were good beyond the borders of the Danish 
land: " If you want good butter," said he, 
"go to the happy Christians. They make the 
best." Of course they do. They make the 
world go round. It is the honest fun that 
keeps life sane and sweet, butter and all. 

One more of his life-rules, and this one you 
may fairly call his motto: " Be ready! " Am- 
munition fixed, canteen filled, knapsack slung, 
watch for the opportunities of life that come, 
and seize them as they pass. They are for the 
one who is ready for them. Lose no time; a 
man can lose a fortune and make another; but 
the time that is lost is lost forever. It does 
not come back. Waste no time in grumbling. 
Roosevelt never does. The man who is busy 
helping his neighbor has no time to growl. 

[408] 



A YOUNG MEN'S HERO 

Growling holds up progress and never helps 
anything. Be ready, and when the order comes 
fall in. Fighting for the things worth while, 
hit the hardest licks you know how and never 
count the odds against you. They have no- 
thing to do with it. If you are right, just fight 
on, " trying to make things better in this 
world, even if only a little better, because you 
have lived in it." Let that be your watchword, 
and all will come out right. 

My story stops here. There is nothing in 
it, as I have shown you Roosevelt and his life, 
that is beyond the reach or strength of any one 
who will make the most of himself with deter- 
mined purpose. " He stands," some one has 
said, " for the commonplace virtues ; he is great 
on lines along which each one of us can be great 
if he wills and dares! " It is for that reason 
above all significant that he should be the 
young man's President, the type and hero of 
the generation that is to shape the coming day 
of our Republic as it is entering upon its world- 
mission among the nations. When Theodore 
Roosevelt first came into my life, he " came to 
help." How he has helped me I can never tell. 
He made my life many times richer for his 

[ 409 ] 



THEODORE ROOSEVELT 

coming. Of how he has helped all of us we 
heard the echo in the resolution that instructed 
the delegates of Luzerne County, Pennsyl- 
vania, the first to be chosen anywhere to the 
National Convention of the Republican party, 
to vote for him for President. 

' We admire the courage," it ran, " that 
prompts him to do right to all men, without 
respect to race, color, or condition. We trust 
that he may long be spared to stand as an ex- 
ample of virile American manhood, fearing 
nothing but failure to do his duty toward God 
and man." 

When that can be truly said of a man, the 
rest matters little. To him apply the words of 
Washington, which will never die : 

" Let us raise a standard to which the wise 
and the honest can repair. The event is in 
the hand of God." 



[410] 



XVII 

ROOSEVELT AS A SPEAKER AND 
WRITER 



XVII 

ROOSEVELT AS A SPEAKER AND 
WRITER 

PRESIDENT ROOSEVELT speaks 
as he writes. That tells the story. 
He makes no pretense to being an 
orator. Critics sometimes say that his books 
are not " literature," by which they apparently 
mean words strung together to sound well. 
They are not. But what he writes no one can 
misunderstand, and the style seems to the 
reader unimportant, though it is notably direct, 
terse and vigorous. When he speaks, there is 
not often much applause, and when there is, he 
often raises his hand with a warning gesture to 
stop it. Both his hearers and he are much too 
interested in the thing he says to pay great 
heed to the way he says it. But when it is 

[413] 



THEODORE ROOSEVELT 

over, his hearers go away, thinking. They 
know exactly what he meant, and, for the best 
of reasons — he did. I cannot think of a better 
prescription for speechmaking of the present 
day that is meant to convince. And no one 
ever winks when he speaks. 

Another thing: he is all the time growing. 
The man who does not grow in the White House 
is not fit to be there. "A full-grown man who is 
growing still," an Eastern newspaper that is 
not exactly a champion of Roosevelt called him 
after his Chamber of Commerce speech in New 
York. One of the brightest of the newspaper 
men who went with him on his long Western 
trip said to me, when they were back East: 
" I don't think any sane man could be with him 
two weeks without getting to like him; but 
the thing that struck me on that trip was the 
way he grew; the way an idea grew in his 
mind day by day as he lived with it until it took 
its final shape in speech. Then it was like a 
knock-down blow." 

Then they express the man. Phrases like 
this: " It is the shots which hit that count," and 
to the boys of his country: " Hit the line hard; 
don't foul and don't shirk, but hit the line 

[414] 



AS A SPEAKER AND WRITER 

hard," are Theodore Roosevelt all over. From 
time to time I have made notes from his 
writings and speeches. I am going to set 
down a few of the extracts here. Very likely 
they are not the ones that would appeal to 
many of my readers. They did to me; that 
was why I wrote them down. And Roosevelt 
is in them all, every one. Let the first one be 
the extract from his speech at the opening of 
the New York Chamber of Commerce, on 
November 11, 1902. It has been called " The 
Roosevelt Doctrine " : 

" It is no easy matter to work out a system 
or rule of conduct, whether with or without the 
help of the lawgiver, which shall minimize that 
jarring and clashing of interests in the indus- 
trial world which causes so much individual 
irritation and suffering at the present day, and 
which at times threatens baleful consequences 
to large portions of the body politic. But the 
importance of the problem cannot be over- 
estimated, and it deserves to receive the careful 
thought of all men. There should be no yield- 
ing to wrong; but there should most certainly 
be not only desire to do right, but a willingness 
each to try to understand the viewpoint of his 

[415] 



THEODORE ROOSEVELT 

fellow, with whom, for weal or for woe, his 
own fortunes are indissolubly bound. 

" No patent remedy can be devised for the 
solution of these grave problems in the indus- 
trial world ; but we may rest assured that they 
can be solved at all only if we bring to the 
solution certain old-time virtues, and if we 
strive to keep out of the solution some of 
the most familiar and most undesirable of 
the traits to which mankind has owed untold 
degradation and suffering throughout the 
ages. Arrogance, suspicion, brutal envy of 
the well-to-do, brutal indifference toward 
those who are not well-to-do, the hard refusal 
to consider the rights of others, the foolish 
refusal to consider the limits of beneficent 
action, the base appeal to the spirit of selfish 
greed, whether it take the form of plunder of 
the fortunate or of oppression of the unfor- 
tunate — from these and from all kindred vices 
this nation must be kept free if it is to remain 
in its present position in the forefront of the 
peoples of mankind. 

" On the other hand, good will come, even 
out of the present evils, if we face them armed 
with the old homely virtues; if we show that 

[416] 



AS A SPEAKER AND WRITER 

we are fearless of soul, cool of head, and kindly 
of heart; if, without betraying the weakness 
that cringes before wrongdoing, we yet show 
by deeds and words our knowledge that in such 
a government as ours each of us must be in very 
truth his brother's keeper. 

" At a time when the growing complexity of 
our social and industrial life has rendered inevi- 
table the intrusion of the state into spheres of 
work wherein it formerly took no part, and 
when there is also a growing tendency to de- 
mand the illegitimate and unwise transfer to 
the government of much of the work that 
should be done by private persons, singly or 
associated together, it is a pleasure to address 
a body whose members possess to an eminent 
degre the traditional American self-reliance of 
spirit which makes them scorn to ask from the 
government, whether of state or or nation, 
anything but a fair field and no favor — who 
confide not in being helped by others, but in 
their own skill, energy, and business capacity 
to achieve success. 

" The first requisite of a good citizen in this 
republic of ours is that he shall be able and 
willing to pull his weight ; that he shall not be 

[417 1 



THEODORE ROOSEVELT 

a mere passenger, but shall do his share in the 
work that each generation of us finds ready to 
hand ; and, furthermore, that in doing his work 
he shall show, not only the capacity for sturdy 
self-help, but also self-respecting regard for 
the rights of others." 

Here are some observations of the President 
on national duties and expansion : 

" Nations that expand and nations that do 
not expand may, both ultimately go down, but 
the one leaves heirs and a glorious memory, and 
the other leaves neither." 

" We are strong men and we intend to do 
our duty." 

" We cannot sit huddled within our own bor- 
ders and avow ourselves merely an assemblage 
of well-to-do hucksters who care nothing for 
what happens beyond. Such a policy would 
defeat even its own ends; for as the nations 
grow to have ever wider and wider interests 
and are brought into closer and closer con- 
tact, if we are to hold our own in the struggle 
for naval and commercial supremacy, we must 
build up our power within our own borders." 

" We have but little room among our people 

[418] 



AS A SPEAKER AND WRITER 

for the timid, the irresolute and the idle; and 
it is no less true that there is scant room in the 
world at large for the nation with mighty 
thews that dares not to be great." 

" It is not possible ever to insure prosperity 
merely by law." 

" This government is not and never shall be a 
plutocracy. This government is not and never 
shall be ruled by a mob." 

" Woe to us all if ever as a people we grow to 
condone evil because it is successful." 

" The wilfully idle man, like the wilfully 
barren woman, has no place in a sane, healthy 
and vigorous community." 

" Success comes only to those who lead the 
life of endeavor." 

" Our interests are at bottom common; in the 
long run we go up or go down together." 

" No prosperity and no glory can save a 
nation that is rotten at heart." 

:< Ultimately no nation can be great unless its 
greatness is laid on foundations of righteous- 
ness and decency. We cannot do great deeds 
as a nation unless we are willing to do the small 
things that make up the sum of greatness, un- 
less we believe in energy and thrift, unless we 

[419] 



THEODORE ROOSEVELT 

believe that we have more to do than to simply 
accomplish material prosperity ; unless, in short, 
we do our full duty as private citizens, inter- 
ested alike in the honor of the state." 

" A nation's greatness lies in its possibility of 
achievement in the present, and nothing helps 
it more than consciousness of achievement in 
the past." 

" Boasting and blustering are as objection- 
able among nations as among individuals, and 
the public men of a great nation owe it to their 
sense of national self-respect to speak cour- 
teously of foreign powers, just as a brave and 
self-respecting man treats all around him 
courteously." 

The famous phrase, " the strenuous life," is 
from his speech to the Hamilton Club, in Chi- 
cago, in 1899. This was the sentence in which 
it occurred : 

" I wish to preach, not the doctrine of ignoble 
ease, but the doctrine of the strenuous life, the 
life of toil and effort, of labor and strife; to 
preach that highest form of success which 
comes, not to the man who desires mere easy 
peace, but to the man who does not shrink from 

{ 420] 




CO 

IS 



AS A SPEAKER AND WRITER 

danger, from hardships, or from bitter toil, and 
who out of these wins the splendid ultimate 
triumph." 

On practical politics and Christian citizen- 
ship he has this to say : 

" I am a loyal party man, but I believe very 
firmly that I can best render aid to my party by 
doing all that in me lies to make that party 
responsive to the needs of the state, responsive 
to the needs of the people, and just so far as I 
work along those lines I have the right to chal- 
lenge the support of every decent man, no mat- 
ter what his party may be." 

" I despise a man who surrenders his con- 
science to a multitude as much as I do the one 
who surrenders it to one man." 

" If we wish to do good work for our country 
we must be unselfish, disinterested, sincerely 
desirous of the well-being of the common- 
wealth, and capable of devoted adherence to a 
lofty ideal; but in addition we must be vigor- 
ous in mind and body, able to hold our own in 
rough conflict with our fellows, able to suffer 
punishment without flinching, and, at need, to 
repay it in kind with full interest." 
r 421 1 



THEODORE ROOSEVELT 

' You can't govern yourselves by sitting in 
your studies and thinking how good you are. 
You've got to fight all you know how, and 
you'll find a lot of able men willing to fight 
you." 

"A man must go into practical politics in 
order to make his influence felt. Practical 
politics must not be construed to mean dirty 
politics. On the contrary, in the long run the 
politics of fraud and treachery and foulness is 
unpractical politics, and the most practical of 
all politicians is the politician who is clean and 
decent and upright." 

" The actual advance must be made in the 
field of practical politics, among the men who 
are sometimes rough and coarse, who some- 
times have lower ideals than they should, but 
who are capable, masterful and efficient." 

" No one of us can make the world move on 
very far, but it moves at all only when each one 
of a very large number does his duty." 

" Clean politics is simply one form of applied 
good citizenship." 

" A man should be no more excused for lying 
on the stump than for lying off the stump." 

" It is a good thing to appeal to citizens to 

[422] 



AS A SPEAKER AND WRITER 

work for good government because it will 
better their state materially; but it is a far 
better thing to appeal to them to work for 
good government because it is right in itself 
to do so." 

" Morally, a pound of construction is worth 
a ton of destruction.' ' 

On Expediency: " No man is justified in 
doing evil on the ground of expediency. He is 
bound to do all the good possible. Yet he must 
consider the question of expediency, in order 
that he may do all the good possible, for other- 
wise he will do none. As soon as a politician 
gets to the point of thinking that to be ' practi- 
cal ' he has got to be base, he has become a nox- 
ious member of the body politic. That species 
of practicability eats into the moral sense of the 
people like a cancer, and he who practices it 
can no more be excused than an editor who 
debauches public decency in order to sell his 
paper." 

On Cynicism: " Cynicism in public life is 
a curse, and when a man has lost the power of 
enthusiasm for righteousness it will be better 

f 493 i 



THEODORE ROOSEVELT 

for him and the country if he abandons public 
life." 

On Labor ( from the President's Labor Day 
speech at Syracuse, 1903) : " No man needs 
sympathy because he has to work, because he 
has a burden to carry. Far and away the best 
prize that life offers is the chance to work hard 
at work worth doing/ ' 

' We can keep our government on a sane and 
healthy basis, we can make and keep our social 
system what it should be, only on condition of 
judging each man, not as a member of a class, 
but on his worth as a man. It is an infamous 
thing in our American life, and fundamentally 
treacherous to our institutions, to apply to any 
man any test save that of his personal worth, 
or to draw between two sets of men any dis- 
tinction save the distinction of conduct, the 
distinction that marks off those who do well 
and wisely from those who do ill and foolishly. 
There are good citizens and bad citizens in 
every class, as in every locality, and the attitude 
of decent people toward great public and social 
questions should be determined, not by the 
accidental questions of employment or locality, 

[424] 



AS A SPEAKER AND WRITER 

but by those deep -set principles which repre- 
sent the innermost souls of men." 

" The average American knows not only that 
he himself intends to do about what is right, 
but that his average fellow-countryman has the 
same intention and the same power to make his 
intention effective. He knows, whether he be 
business man, professional man, farmer, me- 
chanic, employer or wage-worker, that the 
welfare of each of these men is bound up with 
the welfare of all the others; that each is 
neighbor to the other, is actuated by the same 
hopes and fears, has fundamentally the same 
ideals, and that all alike have much the same 
virtues and the same faults. 

" Our average fellow -citizen is a sane and 
healthy man, who believes in decency and has a 
wholesome mind." 

On Corporations (in speech to the City 
Club, New York, when he was Governor) : 
" I hope no party will make a direct move 
against corporations. . . . Make the man 
who says he is for the corporation see to it that 
he doesn't give those corporations undue pro- 
tection, and let the man who is against cor- 

f Ms ) 



THEODORE ROOSEVELT 

porative wealth remember that he has no right 
to pillage a corporate treasury." 

From the President's Message, January, 
1904: "Every man must be guaranteed his 
liberty and his right to do as he likes with his 
property or his labor, so long as he does not 
infringe the rights of others. No man is above 
the law and no man is below it ; nor do we ask 
any man's permission when we require him to 
obey it. Obedience to the law is demanded as 
a right, not asked as a favor." 

On Immigration: "We cannot have too 
much immigration of the right kind, and we 
should have none at all of the wrong kind. 
The need is to devise some system by which 
undesirable immigrants shall be kept out en- 
tirely, while desirable immigrants are properly 
distributed throughout the country." 

On Bribery: " There can be no crime more 
serious than bribery. Other offences violate 
one law, while corruption strikes at the founda- 
tion of all law. The stain lies in toleration, not 
in correction." 

[496] 



AS A SPEAKER AND WRITER 

On Fellowship (in address to New York 
State Conference on Church Federation) : 
" People make an unspeakable mistake when 
they quarrel about the boundary line between 
them. They have a common enemy to face, 
who demands united attention and united 
action." 

On How to Help a Neighbor: "In 
charity the one thing always to be remembered 
is that while any man may slip and should at 
once be helped to rise to his feet, yet no man 
can be carried with advantage either to him or 
to the community." 

" If a man permits largeness of heart to de- 
generate into softness of head he inevitably 
becomes a nuisance in any relation of life." 

" If, with the best of intentions, we can only 
manage to deserve the epithet of ' harmless,' 
it is hardly worth while to have lived in the 
world at all." 

On Success in Life (in speech at La 
Crosse, Wis., 1903) : " If you want your chil- 
dren to be successful, you should teach them 
the life that is worth living, is worth working 

[427 j 



THEODORE ROOSEVELT 

for. What a wretched life is that of a man 
who seeks to shirk the burdens laid on us in the 
world. It is equally ignoble whether he be a 
man of wealth or one who earns his bread in the 
sweat of his brow." 

On Lynching: " The worst enemy of the 
colored race is the colored man who commits 
some hideous wrong, especially if that be the 
worst of all crimes : rape ; and the worst enemy 
of the white race is the white man who avenges 
that crime by another crime, equally infamous. 
. . . Shameless deeds of infamous hideous- 
ness should be punished speedily, but by the 
law, not by another crime." 

Two things which Mr. Roosevelt did when 
Governor of New York, among the countless 
minor details of his official life, always seemed 
to me so characteristic of him that I have kept 
the record of them. 

When Mrs. Place was to be executed for the 
murder of her step-daughter, after a period of 
great public excitement, he wrote to the war- 
den of Sing Sing: " I particularly desire that 
this solemn and awful act of justice shall not 

[428 J 



AS A SPEAKER AND WRITER 

be made an excuse for the hideous sensational- 
ism which is more demoralizing than anything 
else to the public mind." 

A bill had passed the Assembly, giving 
directions as to the wearing of gowns by attor- 
neys practicing in the Supreme Court. Gov- 
ernor Roosevelt returned it without his ap- 
proval, but with this endorsement : 

" This bill is obviously and utterly unneces- 
sary.. The whole subject should be left and 
can safely be left where it properly belongs — 
to the good sense of the judiciary." 

I shall set down last the closing words of 
the speech in which Theodore Roosevelt sec- 
onded the nomination of William McKinley, 
whom so soon he was to succeed, at the Phila- 
delphia Convention, in June, 1900. They 
contain his prophecy of 

The New Century. 

" We stand on the threshold of a new cen- 
tury, a century big with fate of the great 
nations of the earth. It rests with us to decide 
whether in the opening years of that century 
we shall march forward to fresh triumphs, or 
whether at the outset we shall deliberately crip- 

[429 J 



THEODORE ROOSEVELT 

pie ourselves for the contest. Is America a 
weakling to shrink from the world-work to be 
done by the world powers? No! The young 
Giant of the West stands on a continent and 
clasps the crest of an ocean in either hand. 
Our nation, glorious in youth and strength, 
looks into the future with fearless and eager 
eyes, and rejoices as a strong man to run a 
race. We do not stand in craven mood, asking 
to be spared the task, cringing as we gaze on 
the contest. No! We challenge the proud 
privilege of doing the work that Providence 
allots us, and we face the coming years high 
of heart and resolute of faith that to our peo- 
ple is given the right to win such honor and 
renown as has never yet been granted to the 
peoples of mankind." 



[480] 



XVIII 

THEODORE ROOSEVELT'S 
FATHER 



XVIII 

THEODORE ROOSEVELT'S 
FATHER* 

ON the rocky point of Lake Wah- 
waskesh, across from where I have 
been idling in my canoe all morning, 
angling for bass, there stood once a giant pine, 
a real monarch of the forest. The winter 
storms laid it low, and its skeleton branches 
harass the inlet, reaching half-way across. 
Perched on the nearest one, a choleric red 
squirrel has been scolding me quite half an hour 
for intruding where I am not wanted. But 
its abuse is wasted ; my thoughts were far away. 
From among the roots of the fallen tree a 
sturdy young pine has sprung, straight and 
shapely, fair to look at. The sight of the two, 
the dead and the living, made me think of two 

*Written in camp, in Canada, when Mr. Roosevelt was a candidate for 
the Vice-Presidency. 

[433] 



THEODORE ROOSEVELT'S FATHER 

at home who loved the wildwood well. Father 
and son, they bore but one name, known to us 
all — Theodore Roosevelt. There came to my 
mind the pronunciamento of some one which I 
had read in a New York newspaper, that Theo- 
dore Roosevelt's day was soon spent, and other 
less recent deliverances to the same effect. 
And it occurred to me that these good people 
had probably never heard the story of the other 
Theodore, the Governor's father, or else had 
forgotten it. So, for the benefit of the pro- 
phetic souls who are always shaking their heads 
at the son, predicting that he will not last, I 
tell the story here again. They will have no 
trouble in making out the bearing of it on their 
pet concern. And they will note that the father 
" lasted " well, which was giving the commu- 
nity in which he lived a character to be proud 
of. He did more. " He grew on us continu- 
ally," said one who had known him well, " un- 
til we wondered with a kind of awe for what 
great purpose he had been put among us." 
The people " resolved " at his untimely death 
that it " involved a loss of moral power and 
executive efficiency which no community can 
well spare." 

[434] 



THEODORE ROOSEVELT'S FATHER 

Theodore Roosevelt was a glass importer in 
Maiden Lane, having taken over the business 
after his father, Cornelius. The Roosevelts 
had always borne an honored name in New 
York. Two of the sons of Jacob Roosevelt, 
who in the early part of the last century bought 
land " in the swamp near the cripple bush " and 
had the street that still bears the family name 
cut through, were Aldermen when the office 
meant something. Isaac Roosevelt sat in the 
Constitutional Convention with Alexander 
Hamilton. He had been the right-hand man 
of Governor Moore in organizing the New 
York hospital corporation, and President of 
the Board of Governors. Organizers they ever 
were, doers of things, and patriots to a man. 
It was a Roosevelt who started the first bank in 
New York and was its first president. Theo- 
dore came honestly by the powers which he 
turned to such account for his city when it 
needed him. He had in him the splendid 
physical endurance, the love of a fight in the 
cause of right, and the clear head of his Dutch 
ancestors, plus the profound devotion that 
" held himself and all he had at the service of 
humanity." With such an equipment a college 

[ 435 ] 



THEODORE ROOSEVELT'S FATHER 

education matters little. Theodore's father 
thought it might spoil his boys, and took no 
chances. But exclusion of college did not 
mean to them loss of culture. That was their 
birthright. 

The war came, with its challenge to the youth 
of the land. I fancy that Theodore Roosevelt 
fought and won a harder fight in staying 
home than many a one who went. There were 
reasons why he should stay, good reasons, and 
he stayed. But if he could not fight for his 
country, he could at least back up those who 
did. He set himself at once to develop prac- 
tical plans of serving them. He helped raise 
and equip regiments that went out — the first 
colored one among them; he joined in orga- 
nizing the Union League Club, the strong 
patriotic center of that day; he worked with 
the Loyal Publication Society, which was doing 
a great educational work at a time when there 
was much ignorance as to the large issues of 
the conflict ; he had a hand in the organization 
of the sanitary commission that saw to the 
comfort of the soldiers in the field. And when 
he had made sure that they were well fed and 
cared for, he turned his attention to those they 

r 436 1 



THEODORE ROOSEVELT'S FATHER 

had left behind. It was then he did the work 
for which he and his colleagues received the 
thanks of the Legislature of the State in joint 
session, much to its own credit. 

Many of the soldiers' families were suffering 
for bread, while they wasted it by the cart-load 
in the army. The Government paid millions each 
month to the men, only to see the money squan- 
dered in riotous living at the sutlers' tents. Very 
little of it, if any, ever reached home. There 
were enough to offer to start it out, but the 
chances were greatly against its getting there. 
The sutler who sold forbidden rum in hollow 
loaves or imitation Bibles was not one to stop at 
a little plain robbery. The money was lost or 
wasted, the families starved, and the morale of 
the army suffered. Mr. Roosevelt drafted a 
bill to establish " allotment commissions," and 
took it to Washington. It was a plain measure 
authorizing commissioners appointed for each 
State to receive such a proportion of the sol- 
dier's pay as he wished to send home, and to 
forward it without cost or risk to him. He 
simply gave notice how much he wanted the 
wife to have, for instance ; the general Govern- 
ment handed the amount to them, and they 

[437] 



THEODORE ROOSEVELT'S FATHER 

saw that she got it. But it was not plain sail- 
ing to get the bill passed. The men who were 
robbing the soldier denounced it as a swindle. 
Congressmen rated it a " bankers' job," unable 
to understand why any one should urge a bill 
at much personal inconvenience when " there 
was nothing in it " for him. The bill provided 
for unsalaried commissioners. But Mr. Roose- 
velt persisted. In the end, after three months 
of hard work, he got his bill through. Presi- 
dent Lincoln, who understood, appointed Theo- 
dore Roosevelt, William E. Dodge, and Theo- 
dore B. Bronson the commissioners from New 
York. They went to work at once. 

It was midwinter. During the first three 
months of 1862 they traveled from camp to 
camp, visiting the eighty regiments New York 
had in the field, and putting the matter to them 
personally. In the saddle often all day, they 
stood afterward in the cold and mud sometimes 
half the night, explaining and persuading, 
bearing insults and sneers from many of those 
they wished to benefit. The story of that win- 
ter's campaign is a human document recom- 
mended to the perusal of the pessimists and 
the head-shakers of any day. They had soon 

[438] 



THEODORE ROOSEVELT'S FATHER 

to give up the plea that they received no pay 
for their services, " because it aroused only sus- 
picion." But they did not quit on that account. 
There was this thing to be done, by such means 
as they could. They learned, when any one 
asked how they benefited by it, to tell them that 
it was none of their business. " The money 
does not come out of your pocket; if we are 
satisfied, what is it to you? " They won their 
fight, as they were bound to, saved thousands 
of homes, and raised the tone of the army, in 
spite of snubs and predictions of failure. Even 
their own city sent rival commissioners into the 
field at one time, discrediting their work and 
their motives. 

Other States heard of the great things done 
in New York, and followed suit. Great good 
resulted. In New York alone the amount 
saved to those in dire need of it ran up in the 
millions. It is recorded of Theodore Roosevelt 
that through it all he never lost his temper or 
his sunny belief in his fellow-men whom he had 
set out to serve. Conscious zeal did not sour 
him. It is easy to believe the statement that it 
was he who, with a friend, persuaded President 
Lincoln to replace Simon Cameron with Stan- 

[439] 



THEODORE ROOSEVELT'S FATHER 

ton in the War Department. That lonely man 
had few enough of his kind about him. At a 
time when the camps were gloomy and the out- 
look dark, it was Roosevelt who got up the — 
I came near saying the round-robin to his coun- 
trymen ; it is not always an easy thing to keep 
the two Theodores apart. But that was not 
what was wanted at that time ; it was a message 
of cheer from home, and it came in the shape of 
a giant Thanksgiving dinner sent from the 
North to the Army of the Potomac. Veterans 
remember it well, and how it revived flagging 
spirits and put heart into things, though grum- 
blers were not wanting to dub it fantastical. 
Mr. Roosevelt got that up. He collected the 
funds, and, with his marvelous faculty for get- 
ting things done, made it the rousing success 
it was. Perhaps it is not a great thing to 
give a dinner; but just then it was the one 
thing to be done, and he did it. Then, when 
the fight was over, he had a hand in organizing 
the Protective War Claims Association, which 
collected the dues of crippled veterans and of 
the families of the dead without charge, and 
saved them from the fangs of the sharks. It 
was at Mr. Roosevelt's house that the Soldiers' 

[440] 



THEODORE ROOSEVELT'S FATHER 

Employment Bureau was organized, which did 
so much toward absorbing into the population 
again the vast army of men who were in dan- 
ger of becoming dependent, and helped them 
preserve their self-respect. 

That issue was not so easily met, however. 
The heritage of a great war was upon the land. 
The community was being rapidly pauperized. 
Vast sums of money were wasted on ill-con- 
sidered charity. Fraud was rampant. Mr. 
Roosevelt set about weeding it out by organiz- 
ing the city's charities. We find him laboring 
as a member of a " committee of nine," with 
Protestants, Jews, and Roman Catholics, to 
ferret out and arraign the institutions " exist- 
ing only to furnish lazy managers with a liv- 
ing." He became the Vice-President of the 
State Charities' Aid Association, a member of 
the Board of United Charities, and finally the 
head of the State Board of Charities, for the 
creation of which he had long striven. Wher- 
ever there was a break to be repaired, a leak to 
be stopped, there he was. He founded a hos- 
pital and dispensary for the treatment of hope- 
less spine and hip diseases. He pleaded, even 
on his death-bed, for rational treatment of the 

[441] 



THEODORE ROOSEVELT'S FATHER 

unhappy lunatics in the city's hospitals; for 
a farm where the boys in the House of Refuge 
might be fitted for healthy country life; for 
responsible management of the State's Orphan 
Asylums, for decent care of vagrants, for im- 
proved tenements. In all he did he was sen- 
sibly practical and wholesomely persistent. 
When he knew a thing to be right, it had to be 
done, and usually was done. With all that, he 
knew how to allow for differences of opinion in 
others who were as honest as he. Those who 
were not, expected no quarter and got none. 
Mr. Roosevelt's good sense showed him early 
that the problem of pauperism with which he 
was battling could not be run down. It had to 
be headed off if the fight was to be won. So 
he became Charles Loring Brace's most ener- 
getic backer in his fight for the children. He 
was a trustee of the Children's Aid Society, 
and never in all the years missed a Sunday 
evening with the boys in the Eighteenth 
Street lodging-house which was his particu- 
lar charge. He knew them by name, and 
was their friend and adviser. And they 
loved him. When he lay dying, they bought 
rosebuds with their spare pennies and sent 

[442] 



THEODORE ROOSEVELT'S FATHER 

them to his house. Many a time he had come 
from the country with armfuls of flowers 
for them. The little lame Italian girl for 
whom he had bought crutches wrote him with 
infinite toil a tear-stained note to please get 
well and come and see her. His sympathy with 
poverty and suffering was instinctive and in- 
stant. One day of the seven he gave, however 
driven at the office, to personal work among 
the poor, visiting them at their homes. It was 
not a penance with him, but, he used to say, one 
of his chief blessings. 

He was rich and gave liberally, but always 
with sense. He was a reformer of charity 
methods, as of bad political methods in his own 
fold. For that cause he was rejected by a 
Republican Senate, at the instance of Roscoe 
Conkling, when President Hayes appointed 
him Collector of the Port. Mr. Roosevelt had 
accepted with the statement that he would 
administer the office for the benefit, not of the 
party, but of the whole people. That meant 
the retirement of the Custom-House influence 
in politics, and civil service reform, for which 
the time was not ripe. It was left to his son 
to carry out, as was so much else he had at 

[443] 



THEODORE ROOSEVELT'S FATHER 

heart. So far as I know, that was the elder 
Roosevelt's only appearance in politics, as poli- 
ticians understand the term. Always a Re- 
publican, he had gone to the Cincinnati Con- 
vention, which nominated Mr. Hayes, as a 
representative of the Reform League. 

Church, Mission, and Sunday-school had in 
him a stanch supporter. He was a constant 
contributor with counsel and purse to the work 
of the Young Men's Christian Association. I 
like to think that the key to all he was and did 
is in the answer he gave his pastor when once 
the latter said that he liked his name Theodore, 
with its meaning, " a gift of God." " Why 
may we not," replied Mr. Roosevelt, " change 
it about a bit and make it ' a gift to God ' ? " 
No man could have said it unless he meant just 
that. And, meaning it, his life must be exactly 
what it was. 

This is the picture we get of him : a man of 
untiring energy, of prodigious industry, the 
most valiant fighter in his day for the right, 
and the winner of his fights. Mr. Brace said 
of him that it would be difficult to mention 
any good thing attempted in New York in 
twenty years in which he did not have a hand. 

[444] 




THEODORE ROOSEVELT, SR. 

FROM THE PORTRAIT BY DANIEL HUNTINGTON 



THEODORE ROOSEVELT'S FATHER 

With it all he enjoyed life as few, and with 
cause: he never neglected a duty. He drove 
a four-in-hand in the Park, sailed a boat, loved 
the woods, shared in every athletic sport, and 
was the life and soul of every company. At 
forty-six he was as strong and active as at 
sixteen, his youthful ideals as undimmed. I 
have had to suffer many taunts in my days on 
account of my hero of fiction, John Halifax, 
from those who never found a man so good. 
I have been happier than they, it seems. But 
perhaps they did not know him when they saw 
him. Some of them must have known Theo- 
dore Roosevelt, and he was just such a one. 
He would go to a meeting of dignified citizens 
to discuss the gravest concerns of the city or of 
finance, with a sick kitten in his coat-pocket, 
which he had picked up in the street and was 
piloting to some safe harbor. His home life 
was what you might expect of such a man. 
His children worshiped him. A score of times 
I have heard his son sigh, when, as Governor 
or Police Commissioner, he had accomplished 
something for which his father had striven and 
paved the way, " How I wish father were here 
and could see it! " His testimony of filial love 

[445] 



THEODORE ROOSEVELT'S FATHER 

completes the picture. " Father was," he said 
to me, " the finest man I ever knew, and the 
happiest." 

His power of endurance was as extraordi- 
nary as his industry. In the last winter of his 
life, when he was struggling with a mortal 
disease, his daily routine was to rise at 8:30, 
and after the morning visit to his mother, which 
he never on any account omitted, to work at the 
office till six. The evening was for his own 
and for his friends until eleven o'clock, after 
which he usually worked at his desk until 1 or 
2 a.m. Several years before, he had had to 
give up his father's business to attend to the 
many private trusts that sought him as his 
influence grew in the community. A hundred 
public interests demanded his aid besides. He 
helped to organize the Metropolitan Museum 
of Art and the Museum of Natural Sciences, 
and kept a directing hand upon them up to his 
death. When mismanagement of the Ameri- 
can department at the Vienna Exhibition 
caused scandal and the retirement of the direc- 
tors, it was Mr. Roosevelt who straightened out 
things. Were funds to be raised for a charity, 
he was ever first in demand. His champion- 

[446] 



THEODORE ROOSEVELT'S FATHER 

ship of any cause was proof enough that it was 
good. His sunny temper won everybody over. 
" I never saw him come into my office," said a 
friend about him, " but I instinctively took 
down my check-book." He surrendered at 
sight. 

The news of his death, on February 9, 1878, 
came home to thousands with a sense of per- 
sonal bereavement. Though he was but a 
private citizen, flags flew at half-mast all over 
the city. Rich and poor followed him to the 
grave, and the children whose friend he had 
been wept over him. In the reports of the 
meetings held in his memory one catches the 
echo of a nature rarely blending sweetness with 
strength. They speak of his stanch integrity 
and devotion to principle; his unhesitating 
denunciation of wrong in every form; his 
chivalric championship of the weak and op- 
pressed wherever found; his scorn of mean- 
ness; his generosity that knew no limit of 
sacrifice ; his truth and tenderness ; his careful, 
sound judgment; his unselfishness, and his 
bright, sunny nature that won all hearts. The 
Union League Club resolved " that his life was 
a stirring summons to the men of wealth, of 

[447] 



THEODORE ROOSEVELT'S FATHER 

culture, and of leisure in the community, to a 
more active participation in public affairs " as 
a means of saving the State. 

Four years later his son Theodore was 
elected to the Assembly, and entered upon the 
career of public service which, by his exercise 
of the qualities that made his father beloved, 
set him in the Governor's Chair of his State. 
Other monument the people have never built to 
the memory of the first Theodore ; but I fancy 
that they could have chosen none that would 
have pleased him more; and I am quite sure 
that he is here to see it. 

This is the story, not of a people in its age- 
long struggle for righteousness, but of a single 
citizen who died before he had attained to his 
forty-eighth year, and it is the material out of 
which real civic greatness is made. I know of 
none in all the world that lasts better, prophets 
of evil and pessimists generally to the contrary 
notwithstanding. I have been at some pains 
to tell it to this generation, out of charity to 
the prophets aforesaid. Let them compare 
now the son's life as they know it, as we all 
know it, with the father's, point for point, deed 
for deed, and tell us what they think of it. 

[448] 



THEODORE ROOSEVELT'S FATHER 

The truth, mind ; for that, with knowledge of 
what has been, is, after all, the proper basis 
for prophecy as to what is to be. Or else let 
them come squarely out and declare that they 
have lived in vain, that ours is a worse country, 
every way, than it was twenty years ago, and 
not fit for a decent man to live in. That is the 
alternative, as they will see — unless, indeed, 
they prefer to do as the squirrel does, just sit 
and scold. 



[449] 



THE ROOSEVELT CHRONOLOGY 



THE ROOSEVELT CHRONOLOGY 

(from congressional directory) 

Born in New York City - - Oct. 27, 1858 
Entered Harvard College - - - - 1876 
Graduated from Harvard - - - - 1880 
Studied law. 

Elected to New York Legislature - - 1881 
Re-elected to New York Legislature - 1882 
Re-elected to New York Legislature - 1883 
Delegate to State Convention - - - 1884 
Delegate to National Convention - - 1884 

Ranching in West 1884-1886 

Nominated for Mayor of New York - 1886 
Appointed member of United States Civil 

Service Commission - - - May, 1889 
Appointed President New York Police 

Board May, 1895 

Appointed Assistant Secretary of the 

Navy, April, 1897 

[453] 



THE ROOSEVELT CHRONOLOGY 

Appointed Lieutenant-Colonel of First 
Volunteer Cavalry - - - May 6, 1898 

Promoted to Colonel of First Volunteer 
Cavalry ------- July 11, 1898 

Mustered out with Regiment at Montauk 
Point - September, 1898 

Elected Governor of New York, 

November, 1898 

Unanimously nominated Vice-President, 

June, 1900 

Elected Vice-President - - November, 1900 

Succeeded to Presidency - - Sept. 14, 1901 



[454] 



BOOKS BY 
THEODORE ROOSEVELT 



BOOKS BY THEODORE ROOSEVELT 

COMPILED FROM THE CATALOGUE OF 
THE CONGRESSIONAL LIBRARY 

In each case the date given is of the first published edition. For 
complete editions see at the end of this bibliography. 



The Naval Operations of the War 
Between Great Britain and the 
United States— 1812-1815. G. P. 
Putnam's Sons, New York. 1 Vol. . 1882 

Hunting Trips of a Ranchman. 
G. P. Putnam's Sons, New York. 
1 Vol 1886 

Life of Thomas Hart Benton. (Vol. 
14 of American Statesmen Series.) 
Houghton, Mifflin & Co., Boston. 
Cloth 1887 



Life of Gouverneur Morris. (Ameri- 
can Statesmen Series.) Houghton, 
Mifflin & Co., Boston 1888 

Ranch Life and Hunting Trail. 
The Century Co., New York . . . 1888 

[ 457 ] 



BOOKS BY THEODORE ROOSEVELT 

Essays on Practical Politics. (Ques- 
tions of the Day Series.) G. P. Put- 
nam's Sons, New York. (Reprinted in 
"American Ideals.") 1888 

New York City: A History. Long- 
mans, Green & Co., New York . . 1891 
(With postscript to date.) .... 1895 

American Big-Game Hunting. (Book 
of the Boone and Crockett Club. ) For- 
est and Stream Publishing Company, 
New York 1893 

Liber Scriptorum. A shot at a bull-elk; 
Roosevelt; pp. 484-487 1893 

The Wilderness Hunter. G. P. Put- 
nam's Sons, New York 1893 

Hero Tales from American History. 
H. C. Lodge and Theodore Roosevelt. 
The Century Co., New York . . . 1895 

Hunting m Many Lands. (The book 
of the Boone and Crockett Club.) 
Forest and Stream Publishing Com- 
pany, New York 1895 

Winning or the West. G. P. Put- 
nam's Sons, New York. 4 Vols. . 1896 

[458] 



BOOKS BY THEODORE ROOSEVELT 

American Ideals, and Other Essays. 
G. P. Putnam's Sons, New York . .1897 

CONTENTS VOLUME I 

Biographical Sketch, by Gen. 
F. V. Greene. 

American Ideals. Forum . . . 1895 

True Americanism. Forum . . 1894 

The Manly Virtues and Practical 

Politics. Forum 1894 

The College Graduate and Public 

Life. Atlantic 1894 

Phases of State Legislation. Cen- 
tury 1885 

Machine Politics in New York 

City. Century ..... 1886 

The Vice-Presidency and the Cam- 
paign of '96. Review of Re- 
views 1896 

CONTENTS VOLUME II 

Six Years of Civil Service Re- 
form. Scribner's 1895 

Administering the New York Po- 
lice Force. Atlantic Monthly . 1897 

How Not to Help Our Poorer 

Brother. Review of Reviews . 1897 

The Monroe Doctrine. Bachelor 

of Arts 1896 

Washington's Forgotten Maxim. 
Address, Naval War College, 
June 1897 

National Life and Character. Se- 

wanee Review 1894 

[459] 



BOOKS BY THEODORE ROOSEVELT 

American Ideals, and Other Essays 

CONTINUED 

Social Evolution. North American 

Review 1895 

The Law of Civilization and De- 
cay. Forum 1897 

Trail and Camp-fire. (The book of 
the Boone and Crockett Club.) For- 
est and Stream Publishing Company, 
New York 1897 

History of the Royal Navy of Eng- 
land. (6 vols.) From the earliest 
times to the present day. By W. L. 
Clowes, assisted by Sir C. Markham, 
Captain A. T. Mahan, H. W. Wilson, 
Theodore Roosevelt, L. C. Langton 
and others. (Mr. Roosevelt wrote part 
of the sixth volume on the War of 
1812.) Little, Brown & Co., Boston . 1898 

Big Game Hunting in the Rockies 
and on the Great Plains. (Includ- 
ing " Hunting Trips of a Ranchman " 
and " The Wilderness Hunter.") G. 
P. Putnam's Sons, New York . .1899 

Rough Riders. Charles Scribner's Sons, 
New York 1899 

Episodes from the "Winning of the 
West." (The Knickerbocker Litera- 
ture Series.) G. P. Putnam's Sons, 
New York 1900 

[460] 



BOOKS BY THEODORE ROOSEVELT 

The Strenuous Life. The Century 
Co., New York. 225 pp 1900 

CONTENTS 

The Strenuous Life. Speech. 
Hamilton Club, Chicago, April 
10 1899 

Expansion and Peace. Independ- 
ent, Dec. 21 1899 

Latitude and Longitude of Re- 
form. Century, June . . . 1900 

Fellow Feeling a Political Factor. 

Century, Jan 1900 

Civic Helpfulness. Century, 
Oct 1900 

Character and Success. Outlook, 

March 31 . . 1900 

Eighth and Ninth Command- 
ments in Politics. Outlook, 
May 12 1900 

The Best and the Good. Church- 
man, March 17 1900 

Promise and Performance. Out- 
look, July 28 1900 

The American Boy. St. Nicholas, 

May 1900 

Military Preparedness and Un- 

preparedness. Century, Nov. . 1899 

Admiral Dewey. McClure's, Oct. 1899 

Grant. Speech at Galena, 111., 

April 27 1900 

The Two Americas. Buffalo, 
N. Y., May 20 1901 

Manhood and Statehood. Colo- 
rado Springs, August 2 . . 1901 
[461 1 



BOOKS BY THEODORE ROOSEVELT 

The Strenuous Life 

CONTINUED 

Brotherhood and the Heroic Vir- 
tues. Vermont, Sept. 5 . . . 1901 

National Duties. Minnesota, Sept. 

2 1901 

Christian Citizenship. New York 
Y. M. C. A., Dec. 30 . . . 1900 

Labor Question. Chicago, Sept. 
3 1900 

(Character and Success is issued by the Phil- 
adelphia Institution for the Blind in raised 
letters. ) 

Camera Shots at Big Game. By Allen 
Grant Wallihan; introduction by- 
Theodore Roosevelt. Doubleday, Page 
& Co., New York 1901 

Oliver Cromwell. Charles Scrib- 
ner's Sons, New York. (Also in 
French.) 1901 

La Vie Intense, &c. (19 essays.) E. 
Flammarion, Paris 1902 

The Deer Family. By T. Roosevelt, 
T. S. Van Dyke, D. G. Elliot and 
A. J. Stone. (The Deer and Antelope 
of North America, by Mr. Roosevelt. ) 
Macmillan & Co., New York . . . 1902 

The Philippines: The First Civil 
Governor. By Theodore Roosevelt. 
Civil Government in the Philip- 
pines. By William H. Taft. The 
Outlook Company, New York . . . 1902 

[462] 



BOOKS BY THEODORE ROOSEVELT 

Maxims of Theodore Roosevelt. The 
Madison Book Co., Chicago . . . 1903 

The Woman Who Toils. By Mrs. Van 
Vorst and Marie Van Vorst. (Ex- 
perience of two ladies as factory 
girls.) Introduction by Theodore 
Roosevelt, in which occurs the famous 
Race Suicide phrase. Doubleday, 
Page & Co., New York ..... 1903 

COMPLETE EDITIONS 

KNICKERBOCKER PRESS EDI- 
TION. G. P. Putnam's Sons, New 
York. 14 Volumes. American Ideals ; 
Administration — Civil Service ; The 
Wilderness Hunter; Hunting the 
Grizzly; Hunting Trips of a Ranch- 
man; Hunting Trips on the Prairies; 
and in the Mountains. Winning of 
the West (6 Vols.). Naval War of 
1812 (2 Vols.) 1903 

SAGAMORE EDITION. G. P. 

Putnam's Sons. 15 Volumes. (Same 
as Knickerbocker Edition, but includ- 
ing " The Rough Riders.") .... 1900 

STANDARD LIBRARY EDI- 
TION. G. P. Putnam's Sons. 
(Same volumes as Sagamore Edi- 
tion.) 1900 

[463] 



BOOKS BY THEODORE ROOSEVELT 

UNIFORM EDITION. Gebbie & 
Co., Philadelphia. 20 Volumes. 

1902 and 1903 
(Same as Knickerbocker Press Edi- 
tion, but including besides: Rough 
Riders, 2 vols.; New York: A His- 
tory ; Life of Thomas Benton ; Life of 
Gouverneur Morris; Hero Tales from 
American History.) 



[464] 



INDEX 



PAGE 

Advocate, Harvard ... 25 

Aldermen, Board of — 
power over Mayor's ap- 
pointments 63 

"Allotment Commissions" 
bill 437, 438 

Anthracite Coal Strike, 
President's interference 
with . . 373, 375 ; 376, 379 

Arizona mining troubles — 
Roosevelt's interference 

372, 380 

Assistant Sec'y of the 
Navy . . 64, 157, 161, 162 

Astor, William Waldorf 

47, 48, 52 

Bad Lands .... 73, 74 
" Bath-house John " of 

Chicago 276 

" Battle with the Slum " . 102 
Bell, Sherman . . 203, 204 
Bellevue Hospital and 

Sunday closing . . . 139 
Bill on wearing of gowns 
by attorneys in Supreme 
Court — Roosevelt's dis- 
approval 428 

Bismarck 290 

Blaine's nomination ... 68 
Bliss, George 62 



PAGB 

Bourke, Policeman . . . 238 

Brace, Mr 444 

Bribery — Roosevelt quot- 
ed 426 

Bronson, Theodore B. . 438 
Brown, Chaplain 184, 185, 187 
Bullard, Major .... 49 
Bulloch, Irwin S. ... 12 
Byrnes, the " Big Chief " . 130 

Camp Wikoff 179 

Cameron, Simon .... 439 
Candidate for legislature 47 
Candidate for mayoralty, 

75, 96, 99 

Cary, Edward 108 

Central Association of Li- 
quor Dealers .... 136 
Central Labor Union of 

the District of Columbia 382 
Chamber of Commerce 
speech — the " homely 
virtues " . . 268, 414, 415 
Charities, United Board 

of 441 

Charity — Roosevelt quot- 
ed 426 

Charter Revision Commit- 
tee 141 

Children's Aid Society 11, 347 



[465] 



INDEX 



PAGE PAGE 

Christian Citizenship — Corporations — President's 

Roosevelt quoted . . . 420 policy toward . 386, 387 

Christian Endeavorers . . 134 Corporations — Roosevelt 

Church Federation, New quoted 425 

York State Conference Cortelyou, Secretary . . 245 

on — Roosevelt's speech Cowl s, Mrs 8 

at 426 Crane, Governor of Mas- 
Church membership . . 37 sachusetts 375 

City Club, Speech to, by Croker, Richard . . 136, 204 

Roosevelt 425 Cuba's freedom .... 383 

Civil Service Commissioner Cuban conditions . 159, 160 

64, 104, 108, 115, Curtis, George William— 

119, 121, 125, 209, 293 estimate of Roosevelt 68, 69 

Civil Service reform Custom House, N. Y. — 

62, 104, 106, 108, 116, political blackmail in . 105 

119, 123, 222, 223, 443 Cutting, R. Fulton . . .101 

Clarendon Hall — Labor Cynicism — Roosevelt 

men's meeting with quoted 423 

Roosevelt . . . 153, 382 

Classmates' estimates 36, 67 Decatur at Tripoli . . .297 

Clay, Henry 229 Department of Commerce 

Cleveland, Grover and Labor 387 

91, 92, 93, 121, 122, 123, 227 " Deverys " 147 

Coal strike commission Dewey, Admiral 

103, 377, 378, 381, 386 162 » 164, » 165 > 297 

Collector of the Port— re- Dewey, the engineer . . 205 

jection of Roosevelt the Divver, Paddy . . 275, 276 

elder by Senate . . .443 Dodge, William E ... 438 

Color question . 119, 120, Draft riots 26 

369 370 Dreyfus, Captain . . . 401 

Colored soldier in Spanish Duane Street lodging 

war ... . 193, 194, 195 house 358 

Columbian plot, the . . . 385 Electora i Commission . . 25 

Committee of Nine . 441 Elevated rai l r0 ad ring . . 53 

Committee of One Hun- Eliotj p res ident .... 260 

dred • • •. • \- • 10 ° Elizabethan poetry— Fond- 
Committee to investigate nesg f 0Y _ t ^ 

city departments . 61, 129 EUig Islan ^ 'president's 

Conference with labor v^Isit to . 276 

leaders as governor . . 214 Emperor Wiiliam 272, 273^ 294 

Congress and corporations 387 England? relations with . 294 

Congressional Library . . 116 Expansion _ Roosevelt 

Conklmg, Roscoe . . .443 quoted 418 

Convention of 1884 . . . 66 Expedie ncy — Roosevelt 

Cooper Institute .... 240 quoted 423 

Cooper, J. Fenimore . 18, 19 4 

Corbin, Adjutant-General Facsimile of a letter from 

270, 271, 272, 273 Roosevelt 114 

[466] 



INDEX 



PAGE PAGE 

Factory Department — Harvard . . .22, 25, 28, 43 

Roosevelt's judgment Hayes, Mrs. — story of 

on disputes with . . . 215 sideboard presented to 

Factory law — enforce- 286, 28 T 

ment of 216 Hayes, President . 443, 444 

Farragut .... 161, 297 Health Commissioner 

Federal Club 65 61, 144, 151, 293 

" Federalist " read ... 32 Heffner, Private .... 188 

Fellowship — Roosevelt Hess, " Jake " . . 49, 51, 52 

quoted 426 Hewitt, Abram S. . . . 100 

Ferguson, Lieutenant . . 186 Hill, David B 136 

Fight against corruption History of New York . . 26 

in the Legislature . 54, 57 " Honest Money "... 303 

Financial policy — Roose- Hospital founded by 

velt's 386, 389 Theodore Roosevelt, the 

First literary work ... 39 President's father . . 441 

First Presidential message 106 " How the Other Half 

France, relations with . . 294 Lives " 61, 132 

Franchise tax . 220, 221, 235 

" Four-eyed tenderfoot " . 83 Immigration — Roosevelt 

quoted 426 

Garfield, President . 47, 397 Inaugural address as Gov- 

Garlin, Hamlin .... 145 ernor 227 

George, Henry .... 100 International Brotherhood 

Germany, relations with ! 294 of Bookbinders . . .381 

Germany, study in ... 40 " Isolated Peak, The," 

Gilder, R. W 300 58 » 59 > 60 > 67 

Gompers, Samuel . . .382 Issbell, the Indian . . .188 

g™Mayo/ ' ' "* ™ Jackson, Andrew . 181,332 

urace, Mayor . . . . . w Jacob A R[[s House 356 

Grant .... 161, 332 James , history . . . . 39 

Lxray, Juoge . . . . . 6i / j e ff er son, the America of 284 

Greeley, Horace .... 109 Josiah ^ Badger 31g 

Hague Court of Arbitra- K ing Christian's cross . . 282 

tion 384 King's Mountain .... 181 

" Halifax, John "... 445 Kishineff petition . . .125 
Hamilton, Alexander . . 435 Kishineff petition tele- 
Hamilton Club speech, graphed to St. Peters- 
Chicago ...... 420 burg 291 

Handwriting of Roosevelt 114 K nox, Attorney-General 

Hanna, Senator . . . .161 3qq 397 
Hannigan, Policeman — 

pardon of . . . 225, 226 Labor Day Speech at Sy- 

" Haroun-al-Roosevelt " . 144 racuse . 103, 256, 383, 423 

Harrison, Mayor, of Chi- Labor men and capital- 

cago 277 ists — Roosevelt's atti- 

Harrison, President . . 107 tude toward . 371, 373, 388 

[467] 



INDEX 



Labor laws conferred over 214 
LaCrosse, Wis. — speech at 427 
Lambert, Dr. Alexander . 145 
Las Guasimas 

174, 181, 188, 191, 192, 383 
Leatherstocking Tales . . 18 
Lexow Committee . . . 130 
Life-rules of Roosevelt 

403, 406, 407, 408 
Lincoln 

161, 211, 286, 296, 

320, 332, 438, 439 

quoted 139 

Lincoln, Roosevelt quoted 

284, 285 
Line and Engineer Corps 
— contention in Navy 

163, 164 
Literary work, 39, 73, 116, 413 
Lodge, Senator . . 159, 326 
Loeb, Secretary 248, 249, 287 
London " Times " quoted 

377, 378 
Long, Secretary . . . .161 
Loomis — Assistant Secre- 
tary of State . . . .385 
Loyal Publication Society 436 
Low, Mayor . . . 374, 391 
Lynching — R o osevelt 
quoted 427 

Madison Street Theater — 
address 109 

"Making of an American, 
The " . 134, 141, 151, 224 

Manila 162 

Martin, Police Commis- 
sioner 136 

Maxims of Roosevelt 

403, 406, 407, 408 

McCalla, Captain . . .385 

McKinlev, William 

76, 121, 158, 236, 243, 
245, 246, 249, 348, 365, 

366, 372, 429 

McNaughton, James 244, 246 

Merit svstem in Police 
Department . . 146, 147 



Methodist ministers . . 134 
Metropolitan Museum of 

Art 446 

" Mike " Callahan's sa- 
loon 238 

Militia joined 26 

Miller Case . . 380, 381, 382 

Mitchell, Ed 50 

Mitchell, John . 379, 380, 382 
Monroe Doctrine .... 159 
Montauk Point . . . .173 
Montgomery (Alabama) 

Times— quoted . . .369 
Moody, Secretary of the 

Navy— quoted . . 375, 376 
Moore, Governor .... 435 
Mores, Marquis de . 81, 82 
Mount Marcy . . . 243, 244 
Mulberry Street 

129, 130, 136, 138, 147, 
148, 150, 151, 157, 158, 

162, 405 

"Murphvs" 147 

Murray, " Joe " 49, 50, 51, 52 
Museum of Natural Sci- 
ences 446 

Napoleon 190, 297 

National duties — Roose- 
velt quoted 418 

" Naval War of 1812 " . . 39 

Negro problem — Roosevelt 
on the . . 119, 120, 369, 370 

"New Century, The"— 
Roosevelt quoted . . . 429 

New York Hospital Cor- 
poration 435 

Nominated for Collector 
of the Port of New 
York 62 

Nomination for vice-pres- 
idency . . 33, 233, 234, 235 

Northern Securities suits 302 

Olympia ordered home . 165 

Panama Canal .... 384 
Panama Canal Company . 385 
Parkhurst, Dr. . . . 61, 130 



[468] 



INDEX 



PAGE 

Payn, Louis F. . . . 222 

"Personnel Bill" . . .164 

Place, Mrs. — execution of 

223, 225, 428 

Piatt .... 213, 214, 222 

Police Blackmail 

130, 135, 136, 137, 139 

Police Commissioner 

13, 42, 64, 134, 143, 144, 
292, 347, 354, 358, 360, 361 

Police Courts and Sunday 
closing 139 

Police Department . . . 129 

Police-station lodging 
houses .... 141, 142 

Pollock, the Pawnee . . 187 

" Pork Club " 29 

"Practical Politics" de- 
fined 212 

Practical politics — Roose- 
velt quoted 420 

Presidency in 1904 . 396, 410 

President of Columbia 
College— quoted . . .237 

President's m e s s a g e — 
quoted . . . 106, 387, 425 

Prison Reform Associa- 
tion 36 

Procter, John R. 

112, 113, 120, 122, 301 

Protective War Claims 
Association 440 

Publicity of Trust Ac- 
counts 302 

" Race Suicide " . . . .353 

Railroad riots 25 

Ralph, Julian ... 13, 14 
" Ranch Life and the 

Hunting Trail" . . . 95 
Reform League .... 444 

Reid, Mavne 15 

Religious 'beliefs 305, 306, 307 
Republican Association . 48 
Republican Convention at 

Cincinnati 444 

Republican Convention of 

1900 33, 429 

[41 



PAGB 

Republican National Con- 
vention of 1904 — resolu- 
tion instructing dele- 
gates to 410 

" Review of Reviews " — 

quoted 210 

Riis, Mrs. — the author's 

mother 336 

Riis, Mrs. Jacob A. 261, 281 

Riis, Vivi 264 

Robinson boys — the Presi- 
dent's nephews .... 244 
Roosevelt, Archie — 
85, 315, 319, 321, 322, 

325, 326, 331, 333 
Roosevelt, Cornelius . . 435 
" Roosevelt Doctrine, 

The " 415 

Roosevelt, Elliott ... 34 
Roosevelt — estimates of 
69, 228, 268, 284, 296, 337, 

338, 409, 410, 414 
Roosevelt, Ethel . . 85, 333 
Roosevelt family motto . 314 
Roosevelt, Isaac .... 435 
Roosevelt, Jacob .... 435 
Roosevelt, Kermit 

16, 211, 315, 355, 356 
Roosevelt, Mrs. 
89, 166, 226, 243, 244, 
312, 327, 328, 329, 330, 

334, 336, 355, 356, 357 
Roosevelt, Mrs. — the Pres- 
ident's mother . 10, 11, 12 
Roosevelt quoted 

14, 21, 26, 34, 35, 36, 38, 
40, 41, 43, 48, 49, 57, 58, 
59, 67, 74, 76, 77, 80, 86, 
87, 88, 90, 93, 94, 95, 
101, 103, 107, 109, 110, 
111, 115, 118, 119, 122, 
130, 131, 132, 136, 142, 
149, 153, 158, 162, 166, 
170, 171, 172, 174, 180, 
186, 190, 199, 200, 205, 
206, 210, 212, 214, 215, 
219, 220, 221, 224, 226, 
227, 267, 256, 258, 265, 



INDEX 



PAGE PAGB 

266, 267, 268, 271, 272, Sherman, General . . .161 

284, 285, 287, 289, 290, Ship-building trust . . .387 

297, 300, 301, 302, 305, " Six Years' War " . 119, 125 

306, 307, 313, 335, 336, Small Parks Committee . 134 

345, 354, 366, 370, 373, Soldiers' Employment Bu- 

375, 381, 382, 383, 387, reau 441 

400, 403, 415-430 Southwestern miners' con- 
Roosevelt, Theodore, Ju- vention 380 

nior .... 10, 244, 325 Speaker, Roosevelt as a 

Roosevelt, Theodore — the 413, 414 

President's father Standard Oil Company . 388 

10, 11, 12, 13, 36, 60, 62, Stanton, Secretary of 

327, 347, 352, 434, 435, War 439 

436, 437, 438, 439, 440, State Charities' Aid Asso- 

441, 443, 444, 445, 446, ciation 441 

447, 448 Sullivan Street Industrial 

Roosevelt's Uncles ... 12 School .... 347, 349 

Root, Secretary 295, 334, 397 Sunday saloon-closing law 

quoted 296 130, 138, 139, 140, 292 

Rose — the Roosevelt's Street Cleaning Commis- 

maid 331, 332 sionership offered to 

Rough Riders Roosevelt 133 

9, 64, 88, 167, 168, 169, Spanish misrule in Cuba . 159 

170, 171, 174, 180, 181, Speaker in the Legisla- 

182, 183, 187, 188, 189, ture 58 

190, 191, 193, 194, 195, State Bar Association— 
196, 197, 198, 199, 282, speech in 1899 . . . .258 
335, 338, 350 State Board of Charities . 441 
" Round Robin " . . 36, 196 " Strenuous Life, The " . 420 
Rowland, the cow-puncher -188 Strong, Mayor ... 63, 132 
" Royal Navy, The " . . 40 Success — Roosevelt quot- 
ed 427 

Sagamore Hill . 89, 313, 317 Sunday-school teacher . . 37 

St. Hilda Circle . . 327, 330 Sweatshops inspected by 

San Juan Hill the Governor . . 217, 218 
28, 167, 168, 169, 181, 

187, 192, 197, 383 Taft— governor . . 397, 400 

Sanitary Commission in Tammany 

the Civil War .... 436 100, 132, 135, 137, 143, 

Santiago ... 35, 189, 191 147, 213, 301, 398 

Satterie, Miss 348 Taylor, " Buck " . . . .207 

Saturday Evening Post . 54 " Tear in the Clouds " . . 244 

Schurz, Carl 369 Tenement House Commis- 

Secret Service man and a sion Bill 220 

crank . . . . . 282, 283 Tenement labor . . . . 60 

Shakespeare and the cow- Tenement labor investi- 

boys 95 gated . . 60, 217, 218, 219 

Shaw, Dr. Albert . 33, 210, 284 Texas Rangers .... 181 

[470] 



INDEX 



Thanksgiving dinner sent 
to the Army of the Po- 
tomac 440 

Thucydides 33 

Tientsin — conference of 

captains at 385 

Tordenskjold, Peter . . 30 
*■ True American Ideals " 57 
Trusts — Roosevelt's atti- 
tude toward . . 386, 387 
Turkey — atrocities in . .296 
Twin Island . 356, 358, 361 

Union League Club 436, 447 
United Charities, Board 

of 441 

Upper Tahawus Club . . 243 

Van Amringe, Dean . . 52 
Venezuela imbroglio . . 383 
Vice-presidency — nomi- 
nation . . 33, 233, 234, 235 
Victoria, Queen .... 369 
Vienna Exhibition, Amer- 
ican Department . . . 446 

" Wall Street News " 
quoted 389 

Wall Street view of 
Roosevelt 367, 387, 389, 390 

Waring, Colonel . . . .133 

Washington, Booker T. . 369 



PAGE 

Washington, George — 

quoted 410 

Washington, the America 
of, contrasted with to- 
day 284 

Westbrook, Judge ... 54 
Wheeler, General . 192, 194 

White House 332 

Wikoff, Camp . . 179, 196 
"Wilderness Hunter" . 75 
Wine and Spirit Gazette 

— quoted 136 

" Winning of the West " 

104, 171 
Wolcott, Senator— quoted 236 
Women's Christian Tem- 
perance Union .... 287 
Wood, Leonard 

158, 165, 172, 173, 192, 372 
" Wood's Weary Walk- 
ers " 183 

Woodford, Stewart L. . 203 

Yellow newspapers . 139, 286 

Young, General 

270, 272, 273, 274 

Young Men's Christian 
Association 444 

Young Men's Christian 
Association — speech in 
New York at . . . .307 

Young, Valentine ... 51 



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